Are Natural Disasters An Inevitable Consequence Of Climate Change
With the world’s climate changing, there are fears that we might be in for a lot more floods than we realise. Extreme weather has been visible in many countries during the last 10 years, and for many people this is proof that the earth’s climate is changing, and not for the better.
According to a report released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the U.S., rising sea levels and severe weather conditions will lead to a 45% increase in floods in the U.S. by 2100. As global warming takes effect, these floods are expected to threaten homeowners, businesses, and farmers throughout the world. In addition to floods, heat waves are also expected to appear more frequently, and this, again, might lead to other natural disasters.
Rising sea levels are among the most notable results of climate change. Global warming seems to become a bigger problem every year, and engineers in the U.S. are already working on precautionary methods by creating flood gates and other technologies that will help to protect areas, for example, New York, from flooding. Precautions are very necessary, as climate change could bring about many different natural disasters that may occur at any time. Floods are the most common occurrence, which is why cities are implementing measure to prevent as much damage as possible.
The rising cost of floods
In addition to the destruction and inconvenience that floods bring to communities and countries as a whole, floods also have a very negative effect on economies of the world. A good example would be Hurricane Sandy in the United States; the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) ended up $25 billion in debt. Even Hurricane Katrina left the NFIP $16 billion in debt. The average loss on an insured property in the U.S. is expected to increase by 90% by 2100, and this can lead to a significant increase in the premiums that policy holders need to pay in future.
These assumptions are based on the fact that sea levels are expected to rise by four feet in the next 80 years or so, but a report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says that the sea levels are, in fact, expected to rise by six feet. This means even more properties are at risk of flooding in the next few years, all due to a rise in global warming.
Adapting to climate change
Understanding the risks of climate change will allow cities to be better prepared for floods and heat waves, two of the most common effects of climate change. It is necessary for governments, cities, and residents to become more involved and take more action to adapt to these changes, and to prepare for possible natural disasters. One important aspect is to make sure that essential services and infrastructure are ready to cope with potential threats.
Climate change can increase or decrease rainfall, it can influence human health, influence agricultural crops, and even cause forests and other eco-systems to change. A lot of countries are aware of this and are preparing for the potential impacts that climate changes might bring.
Disasters that currently reach record proportions may soon be considered routine. Although there isn’t much that we can do to prevent this, we can take steps to mitigate the human and financial costs of these disasters in the future.
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Like most people around the world Lorien Roux is concerned about the long-term effects of climate change. It’s time people realised that immediate action is required to help keep the effects at manageable levels.