Examine the possible economic impacts of projected climate change for either the African continent or Arctic Essay

Climate change is already hitting Africa hard however, the IPCC (International panel on climate change) have suggested that Africa will be getting even drier and continue to steadily warm like it has warmed by 0.5 degrees Celsius since 1900. Already being amongst the poorest countries of the world, many African economies are expected to suffer further drain as global warming continues to rise.

Most African economies are heavily dependent on agriculture; reliable for their survival, selling cash crops and food production for their own use. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) reported in 2007 that 14 countries in Africa were already suffering from water scarcity, and it is predicted that 11 more will join them by 2032. If the world’s global temperature continues to raise the world will become drier, less rainfall will occur and farming families in Africa are going to suffer. The rainfall will decline in areas that need it most who are trying to reduce their debt by increasing over-sea trade; mainly through the production of cash crops which are crops that are sold for income rather than someone’s own food supply. Without a sustained amount of rainfall the crops will begin to fail which will be placing Africa’s food security under a large amount of threat, not only will famine and malnutrition increase which is already a problem at the moment, Africa’s economy will begin to slowly decline as no crops will be shipped nor will money be sent in return. The LEDC’S in Africa have a low capacity to cope and are at high risk putting them at a higher state of vulnerability. Not only will drier periods decrease rainfall, the harsher weather conditions, such as droughts, will expose soil to erosion by wind, placing more pressure on existing land to produce food.

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This response will be that more desert land areas will be widened and unavailable to grow crops on due to the lack of nutrition in the soil. Not having vast quantities of land producing nutritious soil or grass, does not only widely impact the crop growth or the lack of it but it is also putting livestock at risk of death, without food the animals will be unable to survive and without the survival of crops or animals, the African countries have little option of other food choice, they will no longer be able to use their animals to work in the farming communities producing no money for the people or the governments debts. Africa’s reliability upon food supplies due to the weather conditions and how much they are able to grow reflects on its ability it can pay for imports to feed themselves, which are all extremely low. Africa has close to 320 coastal cities with more than 10,000 people, and an estimated population of 56 million people living in low elevation coastal zones. Towards the end of the 21st century, projected sea level rise will affect low-lying coastal areas with large populations. Sea-level rise will probably increase the high socio-economic and physical vulnerability of coastal cities.The projection that sea-level rise could increase flooding, particularly on the coasts of Eastern Africa, will have implications for health.

With the risk of flooding upon Africa it would not only destroy homes; with lack of money and resources to re build them, increasing strain on the economy, it will also reduce land available for farming once again impacting the economy.With hotter conditions, it is the perfect opportunity for mosquitoes to spread malaria further. With limited medicines and cures in Africa for such a life threatening disease the economy will be unable to afford these needed medicines, increasing the amount of deaths due to tropical diseases, many parts of Africa are already unable to afford appropriate preparations such as mosquito nets as it is, with the increasing impacts of global warming, the population is becoming more and more vulnerable.To conclude, no continent will be struck as severely by the impacts of climate change as Africa.

Given its geographical position, the continent will be particularly vulnerable due to the considerably limited adaptive capacity, by widespread poverty and the existing low levels of development. In Africa and other developing regions of the world, climate change is a threat to economic growth due to changes in natural systems and resources, long-term prosperity, as well as the survival of already vulnerable populations. Consequences of this include persistence of economic, social and environmental vulnerabilities particularly for the economic sector. Africa’s human existence and development is under threat from the adverse impacts of climate change, its population, ecosystems and unique biodiversity will all be the major victims of global climate change.


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