Climate change is a sensitive global issue. Its internalization was developing since the late 18th century. This article takes the reader through a series of factors and forces surrounding climate change from how it began the politics behind it and its implications. Readers are also in a position to get a comprehensive view on the various impacts climate change has had specifically in Africa and how climate change has impacted on the security of individuals and the state. The impact global warming has had on the international system from a political, geographic, economic and social angle is well comprehended in this article and thus the reader is able to see how powerful states and other actors in the international system react to the prevailing phenomenon. (Karl, Thomas R., 2003. Modern global climate change. Science 302:1719-1723.)The reader will be able to see how climate change is a very important priority rather than a normal issue that can be tossed around and not handled in the right way. We get to se how climate change can actually be curbed and contained gradually enabling us to secure not only our environment but also our human race(Drake, Frances. 2000. Global warming: The science of climate change. Oxford University Press, Oxford.) These various impacts viewed by climate change not only affect the environment in the physical aspect but also have severe human security concerns. Climate change in all major angles is a very big threat to the existence of humanity and planet earth. Looking at its effects, it is clear to say that if the sensitive issue of climate change is not handles in a collective manner by all relevant parties and actors then we might not have a planet to live in in the future. Climate change is a topic that no matter how much we may try to push it aside and focus on the agendas will still come back and haunt us in the future. Self-interest of some powerful states have made it difficult to make sufficient progress in this major issue of climate change and yet when the situation will reach a level whereby containing it will be impossible the same states are the ones who will suffer the consequences. The reader will be able to see how greenhouse gases warm the lower atmosphere whereby as earth’s surface absorbs solar radiation the surface increases the temperature and emits infrared radiation. Also the reader will get to know how aerosols may put a cooling effect onto the environment or rather the atmosphere by reflecting the sun rays. The current and future trends and impacts of global warming are vividly articulated and its numerous effects on the physical properties of our planet ,on organisms and the ecosystem and on human well-being especially in Africa This article explains the controversy surrounding USA and its failure to ratify to the Kyoto Protocol giving the reader a clear political perspective linking climate change and powerful industrious states. The main objective is to make the reader understand the complexity surrounding this issue and the severity of it if not handled in the proper way. Although the issue of climate change is gradually going overboard, measures can be adopted by states and individuals to curb its spread like replacing harmful energy producing gases with other renewable energy sources like sunlight and by protecting our forests from deforestation and by reducing our population to consume less through birth control. The sooner we realize the severity of climate change and start adopting safer production methods , the sooner we will get ourselves out of the deep mud that we are sinking in.
Climate change, also referred to as global warming by some is a visible gradual change in weather patterns within periods lasting ten years to millions of years. Climate change can be witnessed either through mild weather conditions for a short period or for a long period. Climate change occurs due to a number of reasons such as emission of carbon into the atmosphere by factories, power plants vehicles etc., volcanic eruptions, some human activities and solar radiations. The past and future of climate change is what many scientists have been trying to work out and understand through observations and theoretically by using climate records of the past.
Forces or rather factors that determine climate change can be either internal and/or external. Internal factors are natural forces within the climate like changes in solar output while
external forces are either caused by human or natural.
Climate change has had a big impact on human history and development. (Parmesan, Camille. and Gary Yohe. 2003. A globally coherent fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems. Nature 421:37-42). This is referred to as historical climatology whereby the lead sources include chronicles, maps, local history, paintings and drawings. Paleoclimatology on the other hand takes an overview on climate change over the entire history of the earth.
Evidence of climate change before the 18th century was not as substantial. By the end of the 18th century, various competing theories about climate change emerged. James Hutton is among the first theorist to find signs of past glacial activity in places too warm for glaciers in modern times. Jean-Pierre Perraudin in 1815 explains how the glaciers could have created the
giant boulders (alpine valleys). Still by the end of the 19th century, people’s views and scientific opinion had not yet shifted to the fact that there can be human influence leading to climate change and were still clinging onto natural induced long-term climate change. Up until 1899 for the first time, Thomas Chrowder Chamberlin described how changes in climate could result from changes in the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
By 1967 with the assistance of the invention of digital computers, which could enable integration of absorption curves numerically, Richard Wetherald and Syukuro Manabe made the first detailed calculation of the greenhouse effect. In their findings, they discovered that a doubling of carbon dioxide from the current level would result in an increase in global temperature.
A conference on the ,”Assessment of the Role of Carbon dioxide and Other Greenhouse Gases in Climate Variations and Associated Impacts”, was held in 1985 by joint bodies ;UNEP, WMO and ICSU. In this conference they concluded that greenhouse gases are expected to cause significant warming in the next century and that some warming is inevitable.(Intergovernmental panel on climate change. 2001. IPCC third assessment report-Climate change 2001: Synthesis report. World metrological organization and the United Nations Environmental Programme.)
Research on global warming has since expanded and recorded in assessment reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The Kyoto protocol is an international treaty which extends the 1992 United Nations Framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC)that commits state parties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions based on the scientific consensus that (part one) global warming is occurring and (part two)it is extremely likely that human made carbon iv oxide emission have predominantly caused. The Kyoto protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan on 11th December 1997 and entered into force on 16th February 2005. They are currently 192 parties (Canada withdrew from the protocol effective, December 2012) to the protocol. According to the intergovernmental panel on climate change established by the United Nations Environmental Program and the world meteorological organisation in 1988 the long term global warming would rise in sea level around the world, resulting in the inundation of low lying coastal areas and the possible disappearance of island states , the melting of the glacier sea ice and arctic parametrisation increased the number, extreme climate change in their distribution and increased risk of extinction for of all plants and animals species .
Implications of Kyoto protocol on climate change
High diffusion of improved technologies in the manufacturing and vehicle sectors combine with lower diffusion in others would suggest an upper bound depends upon the degree to which technical innovation occurs in response to emission constraints
It performs all calculations under uncertainty and gives results both a mean values and as probability distribution for example the climate sensitivity to a doubling of concentration which is widely acknowledged as still a major uncertainty in climatic modelling .
Emission of conventional pollutants can also help address urban pollution problems that are endemic from Birmingham and Beijing. High degree of international diffusion would be expected from such technologies that raise resources efficiency and bring other co-benefits such as reduced waste would be expected to diffuse widely.
The dominant direction of international technological flows with advanced technologies and institutions mostly generated and diffused with the industrial countries forming such a large share of the global technological economy, it is clear that action taken in the industrial world will exert a huge influence on technological development and choice.
Reasons why USA is not a signatory of Kyoto protocol
The USA should not be a signatory to any protocol, which would;
Mandate new commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the Annex 1 parties, unless the protocol also mandates new specific scheduled commitments for developing countries parties within the same compliance period.
Result in a serious harm to the economy of the united states. Byrd-Hagel was legally binding; rather it was a sense-the-senate ratification requires a two third majority. President Bush, when repudiating Kyoto in February (2001) echoed the requirements of BR-Hagel. Opposed the Kyoto protocol because it exempts 80% of the world including major population centres such as China and India from compliance and would serious harm to US economy. Bush also stated that the senate’s votes of 95-0 shows that there is a clear consensus that the Kyoto protocol is an unfair and ineffective means of addressing global climate change concern. According to the off-cited theory of two-level games (Putnam, 1985), negotiator will look ahead and consider only such agreement that can reasonably be expected to be ratified by all countries’ legislatures. Regarding the USA, signed Kyoto having tremendously influenced major elements of final agreements such as the flexibility mechanisms yet it declined to ratify, following president Bush’s repudiation of Kyoto in (2001), did not become a party. The Byrd-Hagel was passed by the US senate several months before the Kyoto meeting makes this outcome even more puzzling, (Cutajar 2004; 63) terms it’ something of mystery; we try to shade light on mystery.
Politics behind Kyoto protocol
Loss of damage: First articulated at the (2012)conference and in part based on the agreement that was signed at the (2010)United Nations principle that countries vulnerable to the effect of climate change may be financially compensated in future by countries that fail to curb their carbon emission
.Adaptation: social and other changes that might be undertaken to successfully adapt to climate change. Adoption might encompass, but is not limited to change in agriculture and urban planning.
Finance how countries will finance adoption to and mitigation of climate, whether from public or private source or from wealth or technology transfer from developed countries to developing countries and management for monies.
Technology: The technologies that needed lower carbon emission through the increasing energy efficiency or carbon iv oxide emitting technologies and this needed to be adopt and mitigate climate change .Also encompasses ways that developed countries can support developing countries in adopting new technologies or increasing efficiency.