Negative Impacts of Climate Change in the Urban Areas

Climate change is indisputable and in the absence of considerable changes in policy, the trend is bound to continue. The global emissions of gases, along with the associated climate change, will undoubtedly result in widespread economic costs and impacts across diverse regions and sectors.

Hunt and Watkiss (2011) have underscored the increasing acknowledgement of the possible effects of climate change in cities. Cities face huge negative effects of climate change not just in the present, but in the future as well.

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The current essay is an attempt to outline the problems caused by the negative impacts of climate change in the urban areas. In addition, the essay shall also endeavor to assess possible strategies to address the negative impacts.

A number of scholars have thus far reviewed various possible effects of climate change on cities and the consensus findings of their reports have helped to identify the most significant impacts of climate change on cities (Bigio 2003; Huq & Alam 2003). The reviews have identified the impact of rising sea levels on coastal cities as one of the key negative impacts of climate change on cities.

In addition, Hunt and Watkiss (2011) have identified the impact of extreme vents on the built environment. Such extreme events could be as a result of storm surges and wind storms. Other extreme events as identified by Hunt and Watkiss (2011) include droughts and heat extremes, as well as heavy precipitation events.

Another negative impact of climate change in the urban areas is effect on health, as a result of extreme events and/or above normal temperature. These and heat related morbidity and mortality, vector borne diseases, and water and food borne diseases.

Increased frequency of heavy precipitation events and intensity of is yet another notable negative impact of climate change on cities. These events cause strong winds, flooding, and landslides. Public sewer systems and water supplies are also likely to be disrupted, not to mention the this would have on the quality of both ground and surface water.

Another grave consequence of the phenomenon would be losses and damage to physical infrastructure and assets, public facilities, houses, injuries, and increased deaths and illnesses (The World Bank Group 2011). These events would undoubtedly disrupt commerce, transport, and economic activities (Hunt & Watkiss 2011).

The World Bank Group (2011) has also identified increased frequency of heat waves as yet another negative effect of global warming on cities. As the urban heat island effect rises, due to climate change, this is bound to result in increased risk of heat-related illnesses and mortality, and more so among the chronically sick, socially isolated, the elderly, and the very young. These events will also lead to a decline in air quality in cities.

To address the of climate change, society can implement three different strategies. The first strategy is planning to reduce the impact of . Reducing carbon dioxide emissions entails limiting the use of heavy industries and public transport and using more efficient and cleaner technologies.

This can be achieved through government intervention whereby a limit is set for carbon dioxide emissions beyond which a tax is imposed. In this way, carbon taxes would help to internalize environmental costs by charging individuals and organizations for the full use of the energy that they consume.

Another way of reducing carbon dioxide emissions is by developing an integrated transport system and urban consolidation. This would especially help to reduce the number of cars on the roads.

Secondly, cities can implement strategies aimed at mitigating the impact of rising sea levels by utilizing new building materials and designs. The effect can also be mitigated by adopting erosion prevention measures.

Proper planning is perhaps the most appropriate strategy in dealing with the debilitating effects of climate change in urban areas. Planning may involve changing the urban transport system so that it becomes more efficient. In this way, we reduce the number of cars on the roads and by extension, the level of carbon dioxide emissions.

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