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Climate Change Effects On Disaster Vulnerabilities

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Climate change effects on disaster vulnerabilities – environment & land/geography, social economic, health, infrastructure, livelihood, etc. Climate change and extreme events result in huge impacts on the humans as well as on the ecosystem this create economic losses, then there is impact on tourism and agriculture sectors as well, also on the small settlements. Severity of any disaster event may be result of vulnerability and exposure to particular risk. These may impact the populations that live at global, regional and national level. The extreme events can impact various sectors like water, agriculture, food security, health and tourism.

Climate changes have huge impacts on the ecosystems where 15-30% species face extinction if there’s rise in the temperature by 1.5 to 2.5 degree Celsius. There is shift seen in the geographical ranges in which these species reside that may have harmful impact. Effects of climate change on environment:-Physiological effects on crops, pasture, forests and livestock (quantity, quality);Changes in land, soil and water resources (quantity, quality);Increased weed and pest challenges; Shifts in spatial and temporal distribution of impacts; Sea level rise, changes to ocean salinity; Sea temperature rise causing fish to inhabit different ranges.

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In Africa, climate change is one of the main factors that impacts environment wherein most of the habitats, ecosystems and species are threatened. It was found that Africa’s biodiversity park was at risk upto 50% this could be because of reducing habitat and pressures due to humans and their activities.

In Asia, there is an increasing pressure on the ecosystems in Asia for supporting the demand of natural resources. Coastal and marine ecosystem, forest and mountainous region with flora and fauna are affected the most. Climate change effect the distribution pattern in future, health of forests, productivity in Asia. Northeastern side of China was deprived of conifer forest where there was a decline in the productivity of grassland by 40-90 per cent with an increase of 2-3° C, these results in reduction of precipitation in arid and semi-arid regions of Asia. There would be effect on the fisheries in both fresh water as well as sea water. Fisheries that occur at higher elevations will be facing difficulties of availability of very low oxygen because of rise in surface air temperatures. Also because of increase in the sea level it would have affect and flood millions of residences in low lying areas of south, south east and East Asia. This may have an impact on corals reefs which may be lost by 30 percent in next 10 years.

In Latin America, 40 percent of tropical forest exists in the Amazon basin and it contain one of richest biodiversity, it contain 1000 plant species, millions of insect species, more than 700 species of fish, 1,000 bird species and mammalian species up to 300. There was loss of many species because of reduction in tropical area of forest in tropical rainforest. In Amazon forest because of climate change there’s an increasing risk of biodiversity loss. By the year 2050 with projected increase of 2° C surface temperature many species were found to be lost over central Brazil, Mexico and some areas of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. As the sea level rise, mangrove forest that exist in the low lying areas of coasts become vulnerable in Mexico, Central America and Caribbean.

In India, there was Sea level observed in the Indian coast that increased at the rate of 1.3mm/year. There are many projections that predict frequency of cyclones decreases in 2030s.There is increase in the yield of Irrigated rice in all the regions. Reduction of yield in maize and sorghum. There is rise in coconut productivity in western coast of India while reduction of productivity in eastern coast in India. In the Himalayan region there was reduction in apple production. There is an increase in the yield of marine fisheries

Asia experiences face various environmental as well as socio economic day to day challenges that may help in the protection of valuable natural resources. It is seen land and ecosystem are deteriorating along with it water quality and air quality is also decreased. Waste production has exponentially increased that have created more environment problems. Asia is susceptible to various disasters, somewhat similar to Indian Ocean tsunami 2004, Pakistan earthquake 2005, Philippines landslide 2006. It is believed these disasters might increase in frequency as well as in terms of severity. This may impact population with hunger, various diseases, complete loss of income and livelihood that have huge role in impacting the population. In china 2006 there was a major flooding in east and south and west and north east faced heat and drought conditions that impacted a large population where 2700 people were killed and there was damage of USD 20 billion.

Livelihood

It refers to the capabilities, assets and activities that are required for a healthy means of living. Livelihood is a very important factor that helps family in coping with their communities and stay at distant from various shocks and stresses that might have an impact on the family.

Many local people’s livelihood is affected by the natural disasters because they do not have any control over the climatic extreme conditions. Other than this people don’t have control over various conflicts, agricultural problems (Crop damage). These may impact directly over the livelihood of people. Sometimes there is an added threat to the people who are living on very degraded lands that include very steep hillsides, dry lands, floodplains this may impact the livelihood of the people and poses a threat which could any way arise from disastrous events. There have been various actions taken to improve the situations of deteriorating environment. There were various adaptation strategies that were adopted that in turn helped in the ecosystem restoration and forest landscape restoration. It has been mentioned in many studies that sustainable strategies for reduction of disaster in any region will help in improvements in livelihood in any region affected by disaster.

Assets are really important in the healthy means of living and include both physical asset like land and human asset like education and training programs. It is seen that extreme climate events sometimes lead to decline in the opportunities that come up to earn proper livelihood and enable the people to recover from the event. If people have access to both the asset and entitlement, it will help in improving the communities to lower the vulnerability of their region and help in dealing with various climate stresses.

Many households and its people are vulnerable of assets and livelihoods are sensitive to climatic changes. a large no. of households are exposed to risks of climate change but only the poor household are more at risk because of limited or no resources. People & households mainly dependent on agriculture, livestock, and fisheries are more at risk. In the household most vulnerable will be the children, elderly, disabled and pregnant women.

There should be Improvement in management of climatic variations. There was huge water scarcity in Africa, there were many water conflicts reported. Agriculture was mainly dependent upon the irrigation which can happen through rainfall. Many farmers will be severely affected due to this. Because of climate change most of agricultural land will be lost and there will lesser no. of yields. It was mentioned in National communication report that there is decline in the crops subsistence largely because of climate change e.g. sorghum in Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Zambia; maize in Ghana; Millet in Sudan; and groundnuts in Gambia.

Health

Climate change is directly related with effect on human health. WHO says that because of the warming and variation in precipitation trends it has been observed over the past 30 years that around 150,000 have lost their lives annually. A large no. of diseases mostly arise due to climate variations this may result in cardiovascular mortality and respiratory illnesses because of heat stresses.

A large number of extreme events & climate change together may create stress on the health of people, also it may influence morbidity and mortality of many existing populations. These extreme events usually have both direct and indirect impacts on health of people this could be felt more closely at a local level. It was observed that heat waves were causing a large no. of heat strokes and cardiovascular diseases were also reported. There were health inequalities observed which says that people with least resources were the first one to be affected from heat strokes, many poor people and children especially were vulnerable to such conditions. Also if a person is already suffering from any health problems then this person might be vulnerable to disaster. Chronic health problems may create communicable diseases and illness.

There are various vector borne diseases that are linked with climatic changes this include malaria, dengue, hantavirus, etc. cholera may result from seasonal variability of climate change conditions. After the disaster like flood or earthquake has occurred in any region it becomes very difficult for the people to get back to their normal state of mind and so there’s concern regarding that too.

In some of the regions it was seen that due to hurricanes mental health of many people got affected of some of the communities.

Africa is sensitive to large no. of disease which includes malaria, tuberculosis and diarrhea. This increase in temperature changes the vectors that are spread in different geographical settings. some of these vectors migrate to new areas and some even to higher altitudes, like malaria mosquito usually migrates to some higher altitude and will expose a large no. of dense populated African regions. In the future climate variability there will be other stresses like HIV/AIDS, conflict or war events that might increase the chance of risk to infectious diseases. Children and adults are affected by malnutrition as well.

In Asia, climate change effects on health include malaria, dengue, and other diseases. Diarrhea and malnutrition are one of the burden globally and they occur in south Asian countries which are Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar and Nepal. There will be increase in the no. of deaths due to diarrheal diseases. these diseases may arise from climate events like floods and droughts. There was an increase in frequency and severity of heat waves reported and showed an increase trend in summers that create high risk of morbidity and mortality. In china, there were high temperatures recorded with instances of poor urban air quality. In Jakarta, Indonesia there too was huge amount of heat stress because of which many people became ill in urban settings.

In Latin America, there are effects on health and life of people that may be due to heat stress in the region. Heat stress may create various transmissible diseases like malaria, dengue, and cholera. After a flood event or drought has occurred it may develop rodent borne diseases like leptospirosis and Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. There is increase in forest fires seen that results from warm climate that create vulnerability of large no. of population.

In India, there was spread of Malaria in regions of Jammu and Kashmir in the Himalayan region. While there is no change observed in Western Ghats between 1970- 2030s.

Infrastructure

For the proper disaster management and coping there are various settlement patterns. human settlement are generally classified on basis of physical structures, growth of population and what are the drivers, types and impacts of disasters. The major risk of disaster could be to livelihoods of rural people and poor people. One of the extreme is when the settlements are concentrated close to each other, in these region there is vast population densities, people live in poor conditions, these places may include lack of basic facilities of sanitation and clean water for cooking, bathing and other purposes, and health impairments could arise from pollution. Megacities receives very large amount of attention from the policy makers and researchers. This may be because of the density of clustered infrastructure, a large no. of people at risk, increasing no. of informal settlements in the area. Many megacities are planning and working toward preparing to respond to the disasters. Megacity is not only the major challenge but along with the increasing population in these cities. It is seen that more than half of the populations reside in the urban settings that make them exposed to various risk. We could see that there are unplanned urbanization that is happening wherein people from rural places are migrating to urban areas in search of jobs and decent livelihood.

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