Essay on Uncertainty and Climate Change Adaption
Number of words: 912
The susceptibility of societies around the globe has increased with the changing climate. Therefore, it is necessary to take adaptation measures and mitigation efforts to counter changing climate. However, the impacts of climate change have uncertainties, and the government officials and the decision-makers face the challenges to provide efficient and effective policies to suit economics and adaption measures to tackle the impact of uncertain climate change (Zandvoort et al., 2017). This POSTnote outlines adaption in uncertain climate, impacts, and a brief case study on the adaption measure in the Lincolnshire county in East Midlands.
According to many scientists, over the next few decades, a climate change of a certain amount is unavoidable regardless of carbon emission in the future. Many governments and businesses are assessing the impacts that might have on their economy and habitat due to uncertainties in climate change. However, societies have adapted to their existing climate conditions and challenges; for example, flood barriers are designed to cope with the flood situation. Similarly, buildings are designed to cope up with storms and harsh temperatures. However, the hot topic of the decade is when and how should community/society anticipate the need for preparation for climate change? Many government agencies focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions; however, the world will undoubtedly experience specific climatic changes in the next 40 to 50 years, and proper planning and adaptation measures have become more critical (Green and Weatherhead, 2014).
The adaption to climate change is the actions to counteract global climate change, which reduces social and biological vulnerability due to the sudden climate change and, therefore, reduces the impact of uncertainties. There is a range of impacts due to climate change, such as rising sea levels and excess rain can cause flood risk, extremely hot weather and low rainfall can cause a shortage in water supply, frequent storms, and wet winters (Boyd, 2018).
Presentation of data
Table 1: Number of years that should be considered for climate change effect for the different sectors (Hallegatte, 2009)
Figure 1: Lincolnshire flood map (Climate, 2018)
Figure 2: Impact of floods on the people of Lincolnshire, UK (Wade & Colledge, 2015)
Case study discussion
Lincolnshire County is located on the west coast of England. Approximately 220,000 people live in the coastal zone and have approximately 103,000 households. Lincolnshire county is most vulnerable to coastal flooding, as shown in Figures 1 and 2. Table 1 shows the data for different sectors that should consider the number of years and vulnerability to climate change due to the cost involved in the project (Hallegatte, 2009). In this case, exposure to climate change is very high. Due to the high vulnerability to coastal flooding and the experience during the great flood in 1953, Lincolnshire country council started a series of coastal barrier building projects known as “pathfinder” in 2009. The primary objective of this project was to reduce the vulnerability of the local community to coastal flooding. 128-kilometer-long coastal barriers protect the Lincolnshire coast protect fens and plain and population of 6,600 people. The county is also equipped with approximately 25,000 static caravans located at 200 different sites. The precaution and the planning have helped tremendously for the county’s vegetable crop, which is approximately 30% of the entire country’s yield (Climate, 2018).
The consequences of uncertainties of climate change such as floods and storms have cost; therefore, it is required to balance between the adaptive steps such as building flood defines and cost by the government and businesses. In addition, it is also required to consider other risks factors to define the strategies to reduce the cost of impacts. Following are some recommendations (Green and Weatherhead, 2014),
- Reducing vulnerability
- Enhancing preparedness for disaster as well as recovery from disaster
- Enhancing the quality and reach of information regarding probable climate change impacts
- Considering the actions that are cheaper now rather than doing it later, for example, the design of the building considering the climate change impacts
- Avoid damage to the unique ecosystem while planning for an adaption
- As per the saying, “Precaution is better than cure,” it is necessary to plan for the long-term, which will be not only efficient and effective but also economica
Boyd, E (2018). Climate change impacts and adaptation., Environment Agency. pp. 5-7.
Climate (2018). Adapting to Climate Change Lincolnshire County Council., Climate East Midlands. pp. 1-6.
Green, M. and Weatherhead, E. (2014). Coping with climate change uncertainty for adaptation planning: An improved criterion for decision making under uncertainty using UKCP09. Climate Risk Management, 1, pp.63-75.
Hallegatte, S. (2009). Strategies to adapt to an uncertain climate change. Global Environmental Change, 19(2), pp.240-247.
Wade & Colledge (2015). Climate change and flood risk Climate East Midlands. Devon: MET office. 29.
Zandvoort, M., Campos, I., Vizinho, A., Penha-Lopes, G., Lorencová, E., van der Brugge, R., van der Vlist, M., van den Brink, A. and Jeuken, A. (2017). Adaptation pathways in planning for uncertain climate change: Applications in Portugal, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands. Environmental Science & Policy, 78, pp.18-26.