Climate change is the most disturbing subject among the many debatable issues in the contemporary world. While the third world nations strongly hold that climate is changing due to the development activities of the developed nations, the developed nations use scientific theories to point to natural causes of the vice. Those disagreements have resulted into vulnerability, poor adaption, and inequality to the third world nations.
Climatic change seems to be a two-fold problem. By looking into it from geographical and scientific dimension, it is easy to agree with the developed nations that it is caused by natural causes that are unknown to man.
These natural reasons are similar to the historical belief of continental drifts where climatic conditions changed as the movement of the continental blocks progressed. For instance, why is it that the Sahara desert is increasing downwards while the southern arctic region is increasing upwards as indicated by Ford and Ford?1That trend is a clear indication of an upward movement of the continents.
This paper looks into vulnerability of world countries to climate change and adaptation in relation to economic inequity could progress with the existing reluctance of developing nations to take the matter seriously
On the other hand, climatic conditions are vulnerable to artificial disturbances. Hence, the strong stand by the third world countries could be true and a matter that should be addressed. Developed world countries are heavily industrialized and thus they emit a lot of heat into the atmosphere.
In addition, large amount of gases are emitted to the atmosphere. The combination of the two to an increase in the atmospheric temperatures. However, it is important to note that the weather is heavily determined by atmospheric temperatures at any given time. Science indicates that weather patterns change with the movement of the earth as the sun changes its position.
Increased temperatures cause winds as air from cold temperate zones moves to replace the less dense hot air molecules in the in different parts of the world. In addition, air movements determine the direction of rain as clouds are moved toward the direction of the wind.
That scientific theory of weather patterns explains why it is possible to interfere with climatic conditions in the world. Hence, the developing world countries could be true to their conviction.
Vulnerability to Climatic Changes
Climate is a key determinant of economic growth and development in a majority of the third world countries in the world today. For instance, a community that has relied on agricultural activities for centuries is more vulnerable to the climatic changes than the one that has relied on mining activities. Most communities in the third world nations depend on agricultural activities for their livelihood.
For instance, in an African country like Uganda, a majority of the population are farmers who rely on animal and crop farming. In addition, they rely on natural weather patterns rather than utilizing agricultural technology as is the case in developed countries like Israel.
In the case of dry weather, a majority of the population in Uganda is likely to suffer from malnutrition and starvation as their farms will have dried up resulting to lack of food for both human and animal livelihoods. In contrast, in a country like Israel, dry weather could have less impact to the livelihood as they have technological knowhow on how to ensure enough food security during dry spells.
Over the past years, a majority of the third world countries in Africa, Asia, and South America have undergone drought disasters during dry spells. A number of have pointed a blaming finger to the first world nations for neglecting issues that could negatively affect human livelihood.2
Third world nations are at a greater risk of the impacts of climatic changes than their counterparts, the developed nations are. Climatic changes lead to changes in the weather patterns, increased temperatures, increased sea levels, and decreased food production and security. Looking into every impact and comparing the effects of each on developed countries, we begin with, changes in the weather patterns.
Weather patterns are influenced by changes in the temperatures at a given geographical point in the world or in the entire atmospheric horizon. The majority of the population in third world countries are vulnerable to adverse changes in the weather patterns for their food production depend on the same patterns. There are periods in a year when people plant their food crops and those that harvesting is done.
Human beings like any creatures rely on the nature programming where there is a sense of certainty for the happening of a particular event at a particular period. This aspect implies that they are certain of harvesting once they plant and can exhaust their food reserves between planting and harvesting.
The most common element of changes in the weather patterns is changes in the rainy seasons whereby rain comes in either lower or higher quantities than anticipated, and each having adverse effects on food production and security. Lower quantity of rain than earlier anticipated could possibly lead to low food production in the affected regions.
For instance, some food crops are designed to stay for longer periods before growing to their maturity, and hence low rain ends before they are ready for harvesting. On the other hand, higher rain than expected may come due to changes in the weather patterns at a particular region, which also has adverse effects as it may cause damages to food crops, soil texture due to soil erosion, and hence food insecurity.
Secondly, increased temperatures are also due to changes in climatic conditions of a place. For instance, there has been an outcry over the high rate of ice melting in the arctic region in the northern hemisphere and especially in the Scandinavian nations like Denmark that are experiencing shorter winter seasons than those experienced two or more decades ago. Increased rate of ice melting leads to increased sea levels.
For instance, in the 2011 UN climatic conference in Denmark, climatic change activists displayed a melting ice statue of a polar bear that carried an illustration of lives at the risk of the melting of ice3. Increased volumes of water due to ice melting pose a threat to livelihoods across the world.
For instance, rivers are used for livelihood and economic reasons and thus a majority of the population lives along the rivers. In case of increase in the volume of water in the rivers, it results to flooding in the residential areas, and hence death and distractions are experienced.
Adverse effects of increase in the river and sea levels cause much distraction to third world countries than to the developed countries. Third world countries rely more on rivers and seas for economic reasons than it is the case for the developed nations.
For instance, along the shores of the Indian Ocean along the African coastline, there is a larger population that relies on seawaters for fishing activities than is the case along the Mediterranean coastline in Europe. Hence, the effects of changes in the sea levels would affect the African population more than the European counterpart because of economic differences between the two.
On the other hand, the effects of changes in the sea level would have different impacts between the third world and first world countries. Many first world nations have that have enabled them to reclaim the land from seas, which is the used as berths and ports.
Hence, a rise in the seawater level would lead them to increasing the heights of such berths and ports, like is the case in the and European largest seaport in Amsterdam.
Third world nations are yet to adopt technologies that would enable them to deal with cases of rising sea levels as compared to their counters.4 Hence, third world countries are more vulnerable to climatic changes as compared to their first world counterparts.
By looking into the matters of food security in relation to vulnerability, it is clear that the third world countries are more vulnerable than the developed first world countries. The reason is mainly due to technological and economic developments between the two classes. Developed countries use advanced technologies for farming as opposed to their counterparts in the developing bracket.
For instance, in the United States of America, large farming scale is done in some states like California where rainfall does not determine the production because of the dryness of the region, but rather advanced irrigation is done. Hence, food security is more of an assurance for a developed country as opposed to the developing country as they mainly rely on experienced rainfall for food production.