The climate change has become one of the most widely-discussed issues due to the constant environment pollution caused by human activities. Over the past 10 000 years, the average global temperature has remained relatively stable, varying by less than 1°C, thus, allowing human civilization to achieve the optimal indicator of the level of 15°C globally (El-Hinnawi 2011). However, the industrial success of the current civilization can significantly impact the climate conditions.
The problem that the humanity faces today consists in the fact that since the beginning of the industrial revolution 250 years ago, the emissions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reduce the ozone cover at an unprecedented rate (El-Hinnawi 2011). The situation has resulted in the most dramatic changes in the atmosphere in the past 650,000 years. Despite the efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the past decades, the global warming and climate change are occuring very rapidly.
The assumption that in the future the earth will not reciprocate the amount of energy received from the sun proves the significance of the problem of artificial emissions. Since a thin layer of greenhouse gases reduces energy loss in the world, the climate system must adjust to restore the balance between incoming and output energy. The result is known as the 'enhanced greenhouse effect'.
The current paper aims at investigating and analyzing the work and functioning of an environmental organization the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (which is generally abbreviated to IPCC) in order to evaluate the further perspectives in the environmental issues addressing.
The Role of IPCC
Lankford (2009) has a conviction that “recognizing the problem of potential global climate change, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 1988. It is open to all member states of the UN and WMO” (Lankford 2009, p. 125).
The role of the IPCC is to provide a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent assessment for the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the risks of the climate change caused by human activities. In addition, the organization should regard and analyze the potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. The IPCC does not conduct any research or monitor data related to climate or relevant parameters. Its estimates are based mainly on peer reviewed and published scientific and technical literature.
The main task of the IPCC is to analyze regularly the state of knowledge about the climate change. The IPCC also had created the reports and technical papers on issues that require independent scientific information and pieces of advice. Also, the organization supports the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change throughout the possible productive work on methodologies for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. The official web site of the organization states that “it reviews and assesses the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of climate change” (IPCC 2015).
IPCC is has the series of assessment reports, technical documents, and methodologies prepared on the regular basis. They are commonly used by politicians, academics, and a wide range of environmental experts. The assessment reports contain the results of a comprehensive study of the climate change, its causes and possible consequences (Lankford 2009). In addition, they comprise the evaluation of the potential measures for adaptation and reduction of anthropogenic impacts on the climate system at both the global and regional levels.
In 2007, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the IPCC organization for their efforts to promote and disseminate knowledge about the problem of human impact on the climate change and the formation of a basis for the necessary measures to counter the problem (Lankford 2009).
IPCC's Contribution to the Climate Change Issue Solution
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that the consequences of climate change are already being observed on all continents and ocean spaces. The IPCC released a report, which says that in many cases, the world is ill-prepared to risks associated with the climate changes, although the possibility of reducing the risks does exist.
The climate adjusts to a thin layer of greenhouse gases through the phenomenon of “global warming” occurred on the Earth's surface and lower atmosphere. The rise in temperature is accompanied by other fluctuations. For example, the clouds cover and wind patterns and directions change as well. Some of the alterations may enhance the warming further, and some can counteract it (El-Hinnawi 2011). Thus, the necessity to establish the environmental organizations has become one of the most pertinent issues in the modern world.
Secondly, in each of the past three decades, the Earth's surface gradually became warmer than in any of the previous decades since 1850. The Northern Hemisphere during the 1983-2012 years, apparently, saw the warmest periods in the past 1,400 years (Gillard 2011). The warming of the ocean leads to the increase in the volume of the accumulated energy, which accounts for more than 90% of the total energy accumulated in the period from 1971 to 2010 (Lerner and St. Pierre 2009). The investigation proves that throughout the period of 1971-2010's, the process of warming of the upper ocean (0-700 m) took place, and it occurred from the 1870s to 1971 (Lerner and St. Pierre 2009).
Thirdly, the IPCC reports that over the past two decades, the mass of ice sheets in Greenland and the Arctic was reduced almost all over the world the glaciers continue to melt. It was also found that human activities affect the warming of the atmosphere and ocean, changes the global hydrological cycle, and leads to the reduction of snow and ice. Thus, the total activities raise the global average sea level. With the preparation and release of the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC, evidence supporting the impact of human activity has become greater. It is likely that since the mid-20th century, the impact of human activity has been the dominant cause of the observed warming.
Fourthly, the global hydrological cycle as a result of warming during the 21st century will not remain unchanged. The difference in precipitation between the wet and dry regions and periods will increase. However, the scholars at IPCC noted that there might be regional exceptions.
Finally, the IPCC organization's reports and investigations claim that in the course of the 21st century, the process of warming of the oceans will continue (Ho-Lem, Zerriffi and Kandlikar 2011). The heat from the surface will penetrate the depths of the ocean and affect the circulation. It is likely that during the 21st century there will be the increase of global average surface temperature of the Arctic Ocean ice cover. Throughout the world, the area occupied by glaciers will continue to decline.
IPCC also states that the present century will result in the global average sea level increase. The climate change will have an impact on the carbon cycle, resulting in an increase of CO2 in the atmosphere (Ho-Lem, Zerriffi and Kandlikar 2011). The level of ocean acidification will grow further as a result of carbon sequestration.
IPCC's Interests and Values
Having analyzed the outcomes of the work of the organization, it becomes possible to assess the connection between the interests and values IPCC presupposes. Being IPCC is called to derive benefits and interests from the scientific work conducted by various agents of the environmental studies in order to accomplish the goals. The values of IPCC consist in reducing the negative outcomes the climate change undergoes due to the human activity. The connection establishes the essential directions of the organization's activities.
The analysis of the data on the climate change resulted in presentation of the number of possible solution to the problem. However, despite the fact that the key purpose of IPCC is to collect and regulate the knowledge on the climate changes and greenhouse effect, the solutions hypothetically proposed play an important role. They are mainly distributed among the countries which suffer the most from the climate change affects. As a consequence, Great Britain, the UAE, the USA, etc. are the most active producers of the conditions contributing to the development of global climate change (Gillard 2011).
One of the IPCC's applications of science consists in the results of investigations on the significant linkage between climate change and agriculture. Similarly, agriculture has an important impact on global greenhouse gas emissions. Fossil fuel and equipment used in agriculture and animal husbandry, land reclamation and land preparation for planting have a tendency to result in significant emissions of greenhouse gases (Blockstein and Wiegman 2010).
Prediction of the climate change is an important, complex and frequently controversial process. Despite the ongoing debate, the experts reached a consensus that the annual temperatures will increase. The experts also show changes in the amount of rainfall combines with the increasingly volatile intra synoptic situation. Forecasters agree on the fact that the climate in many developing countries will be less suitable for the current agricultural practices (Tol 2007). Similarly, the areas where it is warm and humid will be in a less advantageous position than countries with a cold climate at the moment (mainly in the north). Although the exact nature of the alterations is not clear, it is obvious that they would lead to a modification of the world by changing the relative strengths of the relative productivity and price.
According to the IPCC, agriculture accounts for more than a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. For comparison, the share of agriculture in the world's GDP is approximately 4%. Therefore, greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are intense. An important link between agriculture and climate expanded political agenda on both issues. Discussions include agriculture and the sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, in the case of production practices modifications, IPCC can make a significant contribution to climate change mitigation. The data has been received by the analysis of various experiments conducted by the scholars.
Personal Opinion on the IPCC Activity
I believe that the key directions of the IPCC's work are aimed at several outcomes. The primary goal is the improvement of the environment conditions, which currently suffers from the human activity. The second direction is that the researches in the area of knowledge on the environment are followed by the approaches to regulate the industrial and agricultural functions. In other words, IPCC contributes to the development of the tools and measures which would stimulate the development and implementation of the environmentally-friendly technologies. Finally, I support the way IPCC functions, since the variety of propositions contribute to the regulation of human activity and improve conditions of the environment. I also agree that the knowledge, which was gained from the numerous investigations on the climate change issue, has to be regulated and checked. The activities of IPCC verify the data and develop proper implementation methods for the practices of reducing the negative impacts that contribute to the climate change.
According to experts of IPCC, the process of climate change will continue in the future. Possible ranges for global warming medium will be from 1.8 to 4.0°C. The organization also project the increase in the number of days with extremely high temperatures, more frequent heat waves (3 days or more) and heavy precipitation. The trends will continue throughout the 21st century and hereinafter. Also, IPCC states that in some parts of Africa, the frequency and intensity of droughts will grow. In many countries of Asia, of tropical cyclones strength and sea level increase will lead to flooding of large agricultural areas. Thus, the problems result in the supply of food. The serious difficulties will be connected with the fresh water supply in Australia and New Zealand. The issue is expected to be caused by the increased the duration of the dry season. Global warming has significant, perhaps even catastrophic consequences for man and nature. It is indeed a worldwide issue that has an impact on all countries and regions. The cause of climate change, as IPCC emphasizes, lies in both the natural phenomena and anthropogenic factors leading to the emission of greenhouse gases.