The climate is changing. One would hope that would be undeniable, but as we all know, plenty of people do deny it. To deny the fact that the world around us is changing is to ignore simple scientific fact. While there is still room for debate regarding how much of this change is because of human activity, the data is very clear: the climate is warming.
That means humanity is going to have to change our ways.
The way we have lived up until now is all based on the climate as we know it. Civilization has developed more in the last 100 years than it did in the thousand that preceded it. During this explosion of technological development and progress, the climate has been much the same. We don’t know how to operate the world as we know it in a warmer, wetter environment; but we’re going to have to learn.
Here are three challenges that the world is going to have to learn to cope with for the next century of human endeavour.
One of the most obvious consequences of global warming is that rainfall will increase. This means that countries that were already at a risk of flooding will find themselves on constant high alert. If these countries are going to continue to be functional, they will need to investigate rainwater management solutions that can ensure the streets remain as dry as possible.
More Severe Storms
The Atlantic hurricane seasons are getting more severe, which is an indicator of an overall pattern. Hurricanes and cyclones will continue to grow fiercer, their might fuelled by the warmer water of the oceans. Some meteorologists have even floated the need for new categories of storm above the current top-level category five.
These storms will have a huge impact on low-lying and coastal areas around the world. Flood defenses and structural innovations are needed to ensure that vulnerable cities are able to withstand the worst of future storms, which will be more violent than humans have faced before.
Lower Food Production
There’s no doubt that climate change is at risk of killing food production as we know it. The aforementioned storms hold the power to wreck crops the world over, while flooding conditions are not conducive to strong growth seasons.
Furthermore, some countries — such as those in Africa or the far East — will experience higher levels of severe drought as the climate changes. As a general rule, if a country is already impacted by a particular phenomenon — such as drought or storms — then climate change will make the existing issues worse. This destruction of food production will spread throughout the globe, potentially causing starvation and leading to mass migration in search of food.
There’s no doubt that the problems facing the world are terrifying, and will require global efforts to rectify. However, humankind has gotten this far– one has to hope we can overcome the challenges of the future with the same fortitude that saw us through the challenges of the past.