Climate Change Impacts

by Mitchell Evans

As you can see below, Israel’s contribution to climate change is being followed and monitored, just as many other countries.  Surely the data is going to be critiqued and skewed by climate change deniers but these naysayers should not be given the dignity of an educated response.  They’re going to think what they want to think and deny the evidence in front of their faces no matter what the facts they’re presented with are.  If these climate change deniers are given the amount of attention they want, the community of climate scientists will forever be busy answering their ignorant questions instead of focusing on the more important issues.  In the end, impacts are going to be far more important than debate and rhetoric.

The science behind determining what has already happened is sure to be more reliable than theories about what is going to happen.  Does this mean that we shouldn’t hypothesize about what we think could happen to the world if we don’t do anything about anthropogenic climate change?  By no means!  It’s important to study what has happened and learn about what could possibly happen.  Quite possibly the most trusted source for information about future projections related to changing climate is the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).   There is a lot of information available on the website but what you might find to be facinating is how vague a lot of the projections are for Europe and the Mediterranian.  You’ll find many times that projections are followed by phrases like: “the evidence is mixed” or that the models “vary on both sides” (http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch11s11-3-2.html)

However, this is not to say that there aren’t any predictions being made for how various regions will be impacted by climate change.  The most predominant tool used to support climate change is a trendline.  The reason for this is that we can chart what has already been found and also make predictions about how climate change will progress.  For example, see the graph below:

As you can see the data goes well beyond what we actually know.  It’s only the year 2012 but the graph goes up until 2100.  These projections could not have been formulated if we didn’t have data from the past and present.  However, the past and present give us reason to believe that these numbers might be accurate.  It’s interesting to have projections so far in the future!

It is certain that many different countries are going to be impacted by anthropogenic climate change, some regions more than others.  However, Asia is projected to be affected more than many others.  Israel is in Asia.  According to the intergovernmental panel on climate change, more than a billion people people in Asia could be “adeversely affected” by the 2050’s (http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg2/en/spmsspm-c-8-asia.html).  This is because changes are expected in various regions throughout Asia.  For instance, coastal regions are expected to be affected by increased flooding, which means that there will be more people that could be affected by diarrhoeal diseases that arise from an increase in flooding (ibid).

The reality of climate change affecting Asia is all too real.  Here are just a few things the IPCC is highly confident about:

  •  Sea level rise
  • “Significant losses to coastal ecosystems”
  • “Increases in endemic morbidity and mortality due to diarrhoeal disease.”

(Source: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg2/en/ch10s10-es.html)

All of the above are issues that could directly affect Israel.  Israel is right on the coast of the Mediterranian, so it is vulnerable to sea level rise.  Israel is not as at risk as some other countries because it is more economically prosperous than a lot of the countries that surround it.  So it is less at risk for climate change to seriously affect it economically.  No country is immune though.  Being that Israel is such a small country surrounded by countries that don’t necessarily agree with their world view,  they could be put at risk of military conflict if they were already hit with a natural disaster.

Luckily for Israel, they have the support of the United State, who has the strongest military in the world.  Regardless, Israel should be even more aware of their the impacts that climate change could have on it because of how fragile the relations they have with their neighboring countries.  Sure sea rise and increased diseases are scary but that is compacted with military threats from neighboring countries who would love to take advantage of their weakened state.  Israel must be prepared.  Not only for it’s environment but also for it’s safety.

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