climatechange. Natty D's

climatechange. Natty D's - Is it really a natural disaster?...

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Unformatted text preview: Is it really a natural disaster? The answer is really yes and no Climate Change is not a natural disaster in the same sense that other phenomena in this class are. It would be difficult to directly attribute loss of life to climate change, much the same way that it is difficult to assess the human attrition due to heat waves. The problem really comes down to a matter of economics. Climate change can shift weather patterns, and consequently the frequency/location of wet and dry regions. The answer is really yes and no In fact, in Canada the costliest natural disasters are often drought as indicated in the table on the left. While countries like the United States and Canada are often capable of absorbing economic and agricultural shortfalls on the short term, but what about other areas? Canada's Most Expensive Natural Disasters 200102 Drought (British Columbia, Prairies, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia): preliminary estimate, $5 billion 1998 Ice storm (Ontario and Quebec): $4.2 billion 197980 Drought (Prairies): $2.5 billion 1988 Drought (Prairies): $1.8 billion 1984 Drought (Prairies): $1 billion 1996 Flood (Saguenay, Quebec): $1 billion Global Vulnerability See http://ciesin.columbia.edu/data/climate/index.html#maps for complete report How can we assess climate change The problem with accurately assessing climate change is that historical records of most meteorological variables only go back to AT BEST 150 years or so. This length of record is not sufficient to completely identify the range of natural climate variability. Also, the data that we do have is not necessarily consistent , as issues such as changes in instruments, urbanization, and the advent of satellite data complicate the matter significantly. How can we assess climate change Given the limitations of the instrument record, many paleoclimatologists turn to proxy data....
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climatechange. Natty D's - Is it really a natural disaster?...

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