A Review of the Risks, Vulnerabilities and Impact of Climate Change on the Urban Community
Throughout the world, global warming presents increasing risk factors than can be linked directly to the regional vulnerabilities and the economic conditions associated with urban communities. Some of the problems are a direct result of the expansion of urban environments. Therefore some of the solutions must center upon how urban communities address the growth factor. Although the degree and intensity of cause and effect depends upon the given size of the community, the environmental characteristics of the community, and the economic conditions within the community, this report avoids such in-depth examination. Rather than trying to address every aspect and solution, look instead at a generalized review of human settlements in urban regions and how global warming affects the community and the associated industry and infrastructure of the settlement.
Urban Adaptation to Climate Change and the Associated Risks
According to Csmonitor, over half of the global population resides, builds and functions within urban communities. Such tight-knit regions produce an undesirable by-product in the form of “greenhouse” gas effects. Furthermore, poor communities often lack the technology to manage growth while regulating the emission of “greenhouse” gases. Thus the rapid growth of urban cities in low-to-middle income countries also increases the growth of communities at risk to extreme weather changes.
Addressing the problem can with governmental management of infrastructure, managed land-use and development of a strong ecosystem helps, but not all countries are capable of initiating such actions. Thus the risks factors continue to grow, and the effect is global rather than merely local. Building reliable resilience while also enabling sustainable urban development demands leveraged support of climate change adaptation. A support system that does not always deliver a resource-efficient solution to the growing problem of global warming and the associated climate changes hinders the resilience of the project.
The internal composition of most cities revolves around an inter-dependent system than can be managed but that can also be limited by medium confidence in limited submitted evidence. But when the evidence mounts and the management system delivers assurance of co-benefits, a powerful rise in support follows. The urban community suddenly realizes a resource-efficient method for addressing global warming and the associated climate changes.
As the risks linked to global warming accumulate, the negative impacts on human settlements, human health and local economies also accumulate. Sea levels rise. Storms surge. The increase in flooding, landsides and water scarcity cannot be ignored. Air pollution, drought and heat stress drive up the costs of air filtration, water supplies and even home air conditioning. Excessive energy consumption becomes the norm. According to the 2014 WGII AR5 Final Draft, by the year 2100 the cost of air conditioning will increase global energy demands by up to 30-fold.
Changes in the climate impact almost every range of urban infrastructure, including sanitation and drainage, energy and water resources, transportation, and communication. Is the services arena, urban dwellers can expect a rise in risk factors associated with emergency services and personal health care response times. From economic stress factors to household well-being, the methods or managing urban communities will play a major role in future balance of the environmental and ecosystem services of the world.
For individuals, climate change affects multiple areas of life, including individual and family assets, personal health, and the methods of maintaining a decent livelihood. Yet in the human settlements that lack in essential services and infrastructure, provisions for adaptation are limited and the risks factors are explosive.
But all is not gloom and doom. Urban adaptation begins now and can be incremented toward a sustainable alignment with risk governance. From the private sector to the power of local and community governmental resources, the opportunities for immediate action is possible even if not currently realized in practice. It begins with a strong urban government that is capable of assessing and integrating a local regulatory framework that generates local support and confidence. It requires planning, design and allocation of resources and manpower. And it needs to be processed in incremental and transformative solutions that further increase the urban confidence in adaptation outcomes.
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