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Climate Change as International Issue Research Paper

It is the high time that climate change was acknowledged as an epidemic across the world. The issue has even become a center stage in social media discussions (Pearce, et al. 1). In 1986, a potential climate change was reported in 1986 by a Swedish scientist. He revealed that the burning of fossil fuels would ultimately result in global warming. The projections were indeed experienced in the 1940s after it was discovered that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere was increasing. A sharp rise in the concentration was reported in the 1980s thus making the issue of global warming a major topic area in most international debates. As a result of the growing phenomenon, international conflicts have arisen, essential animals and plants have become endangered, and water quality has continued to lower. Based on this context, it is worthwhile to assert that the outcomes of climate change are damaging and that it requires active governmental participation in order to establish working solutions.

Álvarez demonstrated how animals contribute to climate change. According to the researcher, processes used in animal production were responsible for close to 1.6 GtC*y emissions of methane gas in 2000 (Álvarez 8). An increase was registered in 2007 where it was revealed that animal feed production was responsible for 8.0 GtC*y-1 emission (Álvarez 8). The annual mean methane gas emission during this period was 0.91 GtC*y-1. Enteric digestion and inadequate livestock feces management were responsible for the increasing level of the gas (Álvarez 8). Due to insufficient feces management and enteric processes, the height of methane gas emission, which has a higher warming capacity when compared to carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere, has increased. The consequences are effectual on these very animals.

For instance, an increase in temperature is a challenge to poultry rearing. Besides, countries that rely on honey production as their major economic driver often experience a downward trend. As such, an increase in temperatures means that sources of nectar and pollen will wither thus affecting honey production. Due to such negative effects, Álvarez recognizes the need for active government involvement (8). The researcher recommends that governments should instruct animal food producers to modify the composition of their products (Álvarez 8). These producers should cease using ingredients that are responsible for methane gas in animal feces. Aside from this, governments should actively seek to introduce climate change-oriented practices and technologies to ensure animal health, care, preparation of animal diets, and feces management (Álvarez 8).

Backus states that in the coming decades, the northern latitudes will be altered if a restrictive action on the emissions of greenhouse gases is not instituted (9). The researcher clarifies that, based on the current events, the majority of the forecasted changes will be negative (Backus 9). For instance, in Siberia, the melting of the permafrost has continually occurred causing the manufacturing plants and apartments to sink into a predicament (Backus 9). Despite this, the change has been perceived as an economic opportunity. As Backus stated, as a result of the ice-melt, sea-lanes to shipping have been opened, and the enormous natural resource reserves below the Arctic sea have now become accessible (9).

However, as a result of these economic breakthroughs, competition for control of the vast resources, not only between companies but also nations, will arise in the near future. According to Backus, international competition often leads to interstate conflicts (9). To prevent such potential consequences, governments should strive for collective action. Backus reveals that, aside from the Russian government, no other entity has the military bases or the means for meeting the need for area-wide enforcement and protection (12). According to the scholar, such a deficiency could play a role in producing the perceived negative climate change results (Backus 13). Therefore, governments have to cooperate with one another to ensure safe, coordinated, and secure resource exploitation in the Arctic sea (Backus 12).

In research by Monahan and Fisichelli, how climate change has affected the US national parks was explored (1). It was determined that 99% of US parks have been affected by dynamic climate changes in a negative way (Monahan and Fisichelli 1). For instance, the temperature has been increasing at a rate of 12% over the past 7 years meaning that the parks have become exceedingly warm (Monahan and Fisichelli 4). By nature, some plants have developed adaptive characteristics. For example, the Temperature Tree species have become resilient to heat variations. However, majority of the other population in these parks have remained vulnerable due to changes in weather patterns.

Monahan and Fisichelli claim that the number of White-tailed deer has vastly decreased since they cannot withstand exceeding temperatures (1). In the light of this, the US government should intervene. In America, the management of national parks is solely the role of the government. Therefore, the American government has to make informed planning and management decisions. Monahan and Fisichelli recommend that such a direction should be founded on an overall park vulnerability evaluation, which takes the current analyses on the exposure to climate change into account (11). With this, the US government will come up with a more suitable planning and management model (Monahan and Fisichelli 11).

Cohen and Miller indicated that the growing Congressional partisan divide is a major drawback to climate conservation efforts (39). In 2007, it was reported that there was a 40% point Congressional difference with regards to the belief that the warmth in the earth was increasing. Such a context defines the intensifying nature of the divide. In 2011, this divide hindered the implementation of almost all deferral climate legislations. Among others, the division frustrated the ability of the US to sufficiently negotiate an international agreement on climate change in an effective way.

While this is the case, cities across the America have come up and implemented climate change initiatives. A good account of such action is the shift from the use of fossil fuels to the adoption of renewable resources. The outcomes have so far been effective in mitigating climate change. For instance, between 2000 and 2010, the aggregate benefits from the shift were estimated at between $ 44 and $ 62 billion (Cohen and Alison 40). However, as Cohen and Alison Miller informs, such results could be hastened if the federal government adopts to implement a national policy on carbon dioxide emission (39). However, to achieve this, the partisan divide has to end.

Annual temperature and precipitation in US parks.
Graph 1: Annual temperature and precipitation in US parks. Source: Cohen, Steven, and Alison Miller. “Climate Change 2011: A Status Report On US Policy.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 68.1 (2012): 6.

The graph above shows the nature of temperatures and the levels of precipitation experienced in different parks across American states. It is evident that temperatures experienced are extremely high, while the precipitation has remained considerably low. The graph implies that parks are presently very warm, with few cold seasons. With extreme weather conditions, the wild population might be negatively affected.

In conclusion, climate change is a very important international issue. It has a set of detrimental consequences. Some of the outcomes documented include warming national park thus risking the lives of wild plants and animals, international conflicts, and diminished economic capacity across the world. Given the harsh nature of the consequences, governments should become active in finding solutions. To ensure fruitful solution, the divide characterizing the US government has to end, countries across the globe should cooperate, and proper national park planning and management should be strived.

Works Cited

Álvarez, Adrián. “Climate change and animal production.” Cuban Journal of Agricultural Science 48.1 (2014), 7-10. Print.

Backus, George. “Arctic 2030: What Are The Consequences Of Climate Change?: The US Response.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 68.4 (2012): 9-16. Print.

Cohen, Steven, and Alison Miller. “Climate Change 2011: A Status Report On US Policy.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 68.1 (2012): 39-49. Print.

Monahan, William B., and Nicholas A. Fisichelli. “Climate Exposure of US National Parks in A New Era of Change.” Plos ONE 9.7 (2014): 1-13. Print.

Pearce, Warren, et al. “Climate Change on Twitter: Topics, Communities and Conversations about the 2013 IPCC Working Group 1 Report.” Plos ONE 9.4 (2014): 1-11. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2020, August 27). Climate Change as International Issue. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/climate-change-as-international-issue/

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"Climate Change as International Issue." IvyPanda, 27 Aug. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/climate-change-as-international-issue/.

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IvyPanda. "Climate Change as International Issue." August 27, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/climate-change-as-international-issue/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Climate Change as International Issue." August 27, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/climate-change-as-international-issue/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Climate Change as International Issue'. 27 August.

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