Risk: The Geopolitics of the Climate Change

Risk: The Geopolitics of the Climate Change
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Despite some beliefs, global warming doesn’t mean high temperatures, warm summers and mild winters. The increase in average temperatures mainly leads to extreme climate changes: Droughts, Floods, Extreme Cold, Abnormal temperatures and most of the extreme weather phenomenons observed since the last decade all around the world.

While a debate is still raging on whether these temperatures increases are due to a natural climate cycle or because of human activities, needless to say that increase of the later won’t probably slowdown this phenomenon. The initial objectives of the Kyoto protocol faded altogether with increases in mercantile carbon quotas tradings among countries. The global economic crisis impacting the western world and the relentlessness increasing energy needs of BRIC countries wont reverse this trend.

In the next 25 years, climate changes will play a major role in geopolitical changes. Water shortages, abrupt weather changes will have important impacts on agricultural productions all over the globe. Raising food prices will lead to social tensions (Early Tunisian social riots were triggered by a rise in bread prices). Countries sharing bordering water resources will experience increasing tensions in raising or limiting the amount of water used by their counterparts. Local conflicts will very likely spark, starting with the current geopolitical fault-lines.

A very complete speech given by UK Climate Change Secretary, Chris Huhne on the consequences of climate change

The question now seems more how can countries prepare for these changes rather than how they will avoid them. The law of the strongest will likely prevail, hence the need to rethink military strategies and prepare for the worst. The End of History claimed in 1992 by Dr Francis Fukuyama is definitely far from being reached.

NASA: “The global average surface temperature in 2011 was the ninth warmest since 1880, according to NASA scientists. The finding continues a trend in which nine of the 10 warmest years in the modern meteorological record have occurred since the year 2000.

NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York, which monitors global surface temperatures on an ongoing basis, released an updated analysis that shows temperatures around the globe in 2011 compared to the average global temperature from the mid-20th century. The comparison shows how Earth continues to experience warmer temperatures than several decades ago. The average temperature around the globe in 2011 was 0.92°F (0.51°C) warmer than the mid-20th century baseline.”

Temperature data from 1880-2011, reds indicate temperatures higher than the average during a baseline period of 1951-1980, while blues indicate lower temperatures than the baseline average.
(Data source: NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Visualization credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio)

FAO: Water Scarcity

Blue Gold Documentary: World Water Wars

Source: http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20120119/

Photos Credits:
Lake Hume at 4% – 6531 By suburbanbloke / FlickR
Hot Earth Projection By davidciani / FlickR