CLIMATE CHANGE IN 2012 4
ClimateChange in 2012
ClimateChange in 2012
2012was a year in which the entire globe got a feel of the impact andconsequences of climate change. Throughout the year news media wasfilled with climate-related headlines such as the internationalclimate talks, the increasing emission and the natural disasters someof which were record setters. Consequently, the various climaticchanges and the consequences felt globally in 2012 became crucial inwaking the whole world to swiftly take the necessary steps to combatclimate change as it was happening right before everyone’s eyes.Therefore, the study examines various impacts of climate change thatwere experienced in 2012.
InSeptember 2012, ice scientists were in shock as the ice in the Arcticsea instead of freezing and melting, shrank to the lowest record everrecorded and then subsequently contracted by an extra 500,000 sq. km.The phenomenon was completely unprecedented as the Arcticmeteorological conditions in 2012 showed nothing unusual since therewere no major storms to aid in breaking the ice or significant heatwave to speed up the retreat witnessed. The scientists thus concludedthat the 2012 Arctic phenomenon could only have been caused by thewidespread global warming leading to less ice in the winter and theunprecedented higher ice melting during the summer that leads to risein sea levels (Field,2012).
HurricaneSandy was the most dramatic event of the year that pointed to theconsequences of climate. Hurricane Sandy in the US swept the eastcoast and through the Caribbean killing hundreds of people andleaving thousands with neither shelter nor power. Further, a fewweeks later, super-typhoon Bopha surpassed Hurricane Sandy instrength leaving at least 900 dead in Philippines and hundreds ofthousands displaced. Although typhoons are a common phenomenon inboth the US and the Philippines, these two were unprecedented becausethey were outside the normal location and timescale.
Subsequently,according to the WMO, in 2012, the first ten months since themid-19th century were the ninth warmest although the La Nina Pacificweather event provided the cooling in the early months. The year alsorecorded the highest level of global carbon dioxide atmosphericconcentration. In the US, various regions experienced anunprecedented heat wave in late June with new time high levels beingrecorded in early July that was dubbed “Summer in March.”However, global average temperature unlike in the US was not asunprecedented, but they too became unusually warmer. Consequently,about two-thirds of the US was under unprecedented drought by 25thSeptember. Meanwhile, Siberia and Russia were hit by extreme droughtsin June and July. Likewise, in China severe drought was experiencedin spring and winter Northern Brazil experienced the worst droughtin 50 years while many parts of Western Africa suffered unprecedentedflooding in July and September (Field,2012)
Inconclusion, 2012 also recorded the biggest reduction in the US gasemission and the reinforced advocacy for countries to curb carbonemission during the Doha Conference. The 2012 events thus providedthe impetus for combating climate change in the years that followed.
Field,C. B. (Ed.). (2012). Managingthe risks of extreme events and disasters to advance climate changeadaptation: special report of the intergovernmental panel on climatechange.Cambridge University Press.