Although there may not be any apparent threats concerning climate change when reviewing a year-to-year comparison, observations made over a span of decades clearly show that the global atmosphere is gradually warming. A YouTube video released by NASA illustrates this phenomenon, where over the past 60 years, global warming has drastically changed the state of Earth’s climate, steadily shifting temperatures towards warmer and warmer averages.
In addition to its video, NASA also announced that 2013 has tied with 2009 and 2006 as the seventh warmest year ever recorded, with supporting data found in reports submitted by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Contrarily, the National Climate Data Center of the NOAA released a similar report, with theirs stating that 2013 was the fourth hottest year. Both of these conclusions stem back to the origin of climate changes through global warming that were first observed back in the 1880s. Despite the variances within these two data sets, a closer analysis by Gavin Schmidt, one of NASA’s climatologists, shows that there is little difference between both conclusions. The fact that past decade has shown the climate warming in a slower fashion than what was observed for periods between the mid-1970s and the late-1990s, this present period is among the warmest time in history.
These changes in climate as a result of global warming also raise various environmental threats that have been made apparent. Oceans across the world take up more than 70 percent of Earth’s surface, and therefore there is ample space for the sun’s energy to be absorbed along its vast surface. These absorptions of heat energy are slowly warming oceans across the world, which can affect the severity of natural disasters when they occur, such as hurricanes and typhoons.
Global organizations of the business world have also taken notice of the increasing likelihood of such disasters resulting from these climate changes, and the devastating financial effects these events could have on businesses in the long run. The World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has called for action from government leaders to provide structure and support to company CEOs who are aware of these risks. Kim has also called for an increase in the market dedicated to green bonds, which are used for developing climate adaptation projects, such as renewable energy technologies, effective energy mitigation, and methods of carbon reduction. This initiative will effectively double the current market to $20 billion within the year, and up to $50 billion in time for the new international climate agreement that is scheduled to be reached in Paris in 2015.
It is estimated that harmful weather conditions account for an average of $200 billion in damages and losses. This number is a staggering increase over the last decade compared to averages of $50 billion that were observed in the 1980s. The development of disaster and climate-resiliency is more important than ever, and the World Bank Group has reported that the poorest countries will suffer the most from a lack of preparation, as climate changes drive costs of development up by anywhere from 25 to 30 percent. The effects of global warming and climate change have never been more apparent in both the business and civilian world, and losses of finances and well as life warrant the immediate attention of powers that be for the protection of what must be preserved on all fronts.
Editorial by Darrell Purcell