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Adaptation

Germany acknowledges the danger of climate change in its country and knows that mitigation will not be enough. Adaptation to climate change will have to be made, especially when other places in the world are not doing as much mitigation as Germany. This means that Germany is still going to have to deal with the causes of climate change even though their greatly reducing their carbon emissions. The main plan for now in Germany is to education and research. With so much uncertainty as to what is going to happen and how much impact climate change will have, its hard to made adaptation plans. Research to try and find out more about the situation is the first step in finding a way to adapt to it. Also, Germany will have to take into consideration construction in order to adapt for to climate change. Building areas are going to have to change in order to protect people from possible flooding areas. Also insulating buildings better can help protect people from heat and diseases that may come from the heat. Flood control systems and preserving fresh water are also important in adapting to climate change.

Climate change in Germany

http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/models/visual.php

Another issues that Germany might want to take into consideration is sea level rise. Preparing for larger natural disasters and sea level rise is important to any areas around the ocean. Germany needs to prepare with emergency signals and plans in order to keep people living near the water safe. Along with that, fishing patterns are most likely going to change with sea level rise, preparing for change in sea life and fishing is also something to be considered. Germany, like most places in the world are going to be vulnerable to climate change, water, food, and health are among the biggest concerns with climate change is all places around the world, including Germany. Germany’s does have a step up from some other countries as it is a well developed country, it has the technology and methods to research and make changes in order to adapt to climate change, this is something the some places in the world don’t have.

With the amount of uncertainty in the effect of climate change and how drastic it will be, i believe that Germany should mainly focus on Mitigation right now and trying to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide. They should continue researching adaptation methods and prepare to set in a plan to adapt, but should mainly focus on mitigation for now until more knowledge is known.

“English – Climate – Downloads – German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change.” English – Climate – Downloads – German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2012.

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Mitigation

Germany is a big part of the Kyoto Protocol. They are one of the countries that have to lessen their emissions under the protocol. Their ratification was accepted for the Kyoto Protocol on May 31, 2002.

Germany has taken many measures to assure a reduction of green house gas emissions by trying to use more green energy. Germany started a Renewable Energy Source act in 2000. Under this act, the cost of electricity would increase from 3.6 cents to 5.4 cents per kilowatt hour. The higher cost in electricity to encourage people to use a lot less electricity. The raise in cost created almost 25 million extra dollars that was used to promote green energy. On top of this, Germany is trying to get away from using any type of nuclear energy, they are hoping to get rid of all nuclear energy by the year 2022.

In order to become more green Germany has put forth goals to help them. They originally had a target of getting all energy use in Germany to be 12% green energy by the year 2010, the passed this goal in 2007 when 14% of all their energy was green. They are hoping to increase that number to 60% by the year 2050.

http://news.thomasnet.com/green_clean/2011/06/27/german-combined-power-plant-demonstrates-real-time-integration-of-renewables/

Germany is on a good track to meeting their goals. They are using green energy more and more every year. Perhaps their biggest use of green energy is the wind. Germany uses the third most amount of wind energy in the world. About 7% of all of Germany’s energy come from wind. Along with wind power, Germany also uses a lot of Hydroelectricity, Geothermal power, and bio fuels.

All of the changes over green energy has left many job opening is Germany. The shift to mitigation and cleaner energy is not only going to help out the future population in a hopeful reduction of global warming, but it is also creating many jobs for people now. As green energy sources become more popular, more jobs are opening up for people to run and set up things like wind turbines. This is helping to economy in Germany.

http://www.ilsr.org/american-and-germany-getting-their-renewable-energy-just-desserts/

“Energy Turnaround in Germany Plagued by Worrying Lack of Progress.” SPIEGEL ONLINE. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2012. <http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/energy-turnaround-in-germany-plagued-by-worrying-lack-of-progress-a-860481.html&gt;.

“Renewable Energy in Germany.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 11 Dec. 2012. Web. 13 Nov. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_in_Germany&gt;.

“Status of Ratification.” Status of Ratification. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2012. <http://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/status_of_ratification/items/2613.php&gt;.

Climate Change Impacts

With global climate change occurring and temperatures around the world getting warmer, most likely due to increase in carbon dioxide emissions, there will be many impacts on society all around the world. According to the IPCC report from 2007, Europe is predicted to increase its mean temperature, more than the increase in the mean global temperature. This means that Europe is going to see a large change that could hold more impacts than other places in the world. It is predicted that Europe will see a drastic warming mostly in the winter months, and they will see an increase in precipitation year round in most parts of Europe.

http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/climate-change/index_en.htm

Because of these changes in the climate in Europe, they are expected to have high impacts on society there. There are a few positive impacts that climate change will have on Europe. In northern parts, some positive impacts are the reduced need for heating. This will save money for people living in this region because they will reduce heating drastically. Another positive impact in Northern Europe will be an increase in crop growing and an increase in forest areas. This will be due to the increase in precipitation in the region, which will help feed into vegetation. Although there are some positive impacts, for the most part climate change holds negative impacts in Europe. The increase in precipitation could eventually cause flooding of crops in northern Europe, as well as endangering the ecosystem and species living there. In most regions of Europe flash flooding will occur more often and be more powerful. With this, rising sea levels will lead to flooding along the coastal lines. Also, glaciers in the mountainous areas are going to retreat and melt, causing even more rise in sea level, feeding into a positive feedback on the region.

Southern Europe is likely to see opposite impacts from the rest of the continent. Southern Europe is likely to see a decrease in precipitation, putting their crops at risk of dying along with lack of available drinking water.
Along with crops, the biodiversity in all parts of Europe are at risk for becoming extinct. It is likely that many species will not be able to adapt to the climate change quick enough and as a result will die off. Another thing that is going to be effected is the economy. The lack of water for crops in the south is going to decrease the amount of crops available for sale. This is going to have a negative impact on the economy. Also, although heating bills are going to go down, cooling bills for the summer are going to go up.

The most interesting and important threat to Germany, as part of northern Europe, is going to be the increase in precipitation and rise in sea levels. This is the most interesting because it appears to be a positive change. Growing forests and making a better region for growing crops. Although this sounds like a good thing, the negative impacts greatly out way the positive. Flooding of coastal areas will put many lives at risk and species will continue to become extinct because they cant adapt to the changing climate.

Germany is extremely vulnerable to climate change and the impacts it is going to face. Being on the coast in the northern hemisphere, flooding is going to be a huge impact that Germany will not be able to stop. It was previously found that Germany is some at part for climate change, not as much as china, or the United States, but it did emit high amounts of carbon dioxide compared to other parts of the world. Germany is going to feel like impacts of their society that they are partially to blame for.

“Europe.” – AR4 WGII Summary for Policymakers. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2012. <http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg2/en/spmsspm-c-10-europe.html&gt;.

“Executive Summary.” AR4 WGII Chapter 12: Europe. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2012. <http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg2/en/ch12s12-es.html&gt;.

“11.3 Europe and the Mediterranean.” 11.3 Europe and the Mediterranean. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2012. <http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch11s11-3.html&gt;.

Germany’s Contribution to Climate Change

ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/trends/co2_mm_mlo.txt

This graph shows the average carbon dioxide concentration over time. The graph shows that there is a trend of small increases and decreases of concentration throughout the years but the overall trend of the line is shifting up, increasing.

http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/tre_coun.html

This graph shows the carbon dioxide emissions of several different countries throughout time. The graph shows us that China is the main Carbon Dioxide contributor, and Kenya emits the least amount of carbon dioxide. Germany’s emissions are have slightly been decreasing throughout the past 30 years.

Like many other places around the world, Germany emits carbon dioxide from solids, liquids, gases, flaring, and cement. Germany’s biggest attribute to carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere are from solids, which i find to be somewhat unusual because most think gases are what cause majority of the co2 in our atmosphere.

Germany had a big spike in the amount of carbon dioxide emissions it was putting into the atmosphere around the year 1965. One reason for the big increase in emission could be because of nuclear power plants being shut down. After Fukushima, Germany shut down almost half of their nuclear power plants, which were replaced with burning fossil fuels.

The per capita co2 emissions for Germany is about 2.5. This is 51% of the United States co2 emissions per capita. Germany’s value is much lower than the united states, almost half, because Germany emits much less co2 then the united states. Germany uses more natural energy sources like solar, and wind power.

Compared to the other countries, Germany is ranked 38th in the per capita of co2 emissions. This is really good compared to the United States that comes in at 12th. 38th is still really high in the ranking out of 215 listed. This is a good indication that Germany needs to start thinking about how to cut back on CO2 emissions. Although they are not as bad as the United States, there are still majority of countries that have a lower per capita emissions of co2.

The total fossil fuel emissions from Germany seem low based on the graph above. Compared to the other countries on the graph, Germany is much lower than both the United States and China. Although Germany is higher than Kenya, Italy, and India, It is not much higher and follows their lines more than the United States and China.

In 2008, the most recent set on data in the graph, China was the highest emitter of CO2 out of the countries on the graph. Per Capita, China’s emissions are about 1.43, where as the United States is almost 5. This means that the United States people are more at fault for CO2 emissions than people in China.

The cumulative contribution to climate changed based on the amount of carbon dioxide emitted since 1900 is the highest for the United States at 91229888 metric tons.

China’s cumulative carbons dioxide contribution is only 34% of the United States cumulative contribution. India’s cumulative contribution is only 10% of the United States. The shows that the United States in the most at fault for the amount of CO2 emissions into our atmosphere. The United States since 1900 has output over double that of China, with a much smaller population.

Looking at the global emissions of carbon, i see a similar trend to that on the global emissions of Carbon dioxide. The carbon emissions is also increasing steadily over time. The emissions on carbon dioxide is the amount, in metric tons, of co2 released into the atmosphere during a certain time period. A concentration is the amount of Co2 in present in the atmosphere.

“Germany Fossil-Fuel CO2 Emissions.” Germany Fossil-Fuel CO2 Emissions. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2012. <http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/tre_ger.html&gt;.

“Nuclear Down, CO2 up in Japan, Germany.” SmartPlanet. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2012. <http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/intelligent-energy/nuclear-down-co2-up-in-japan-germany/13924&gt;.

http://www.inemar.eu/xwiki/bin/view/InemarDatiWeb/Difference+between+concentration+and+emissions

http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/top2008.cap