The difficult, the dangerous and the catastrophic:Managing the spectrum of climate risks (14 page pdf, Amy L. Luers, Leonard S. Sklar, Earth’s Future, Nov. 17, 2013)
Today we review an article that examines the challenges that exist with adopting a single goal for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions– which currently has been accepted as a 2C warming of the global surface tenmperature. The authors point out that this single goal is seen as a far off line separating the difficult from the catastrophic, thus becoming an obstacle because of the need to define “catastrophic” according to the needs and interests of individual and diverse countries. It also puts the focus mainly or solely on the mitigation of emissions without a balancing effort to adapt to the coming climate changes which may become the most important aspect. A different framework is presented which presents the major impacts of climate change (which vary from one user to another with differing conditions and interests and varying interpretations of risk ) from the present to the far future as one axis and the degree of impact as a second axis while adaptation and mitigation are presented with the same axes. This risk management framework may be applied to any one country or situation- or to the world at large.
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