Skip to main content

Climate change will cost cities twice as much as rest of the world (downtoearth)

A study by an international team of researchers has found that cities bear at least twice the cost of climate change compared the rest of the world due to the “urban heat island effect”. This is the first time that the potential of combined impact of global and local climate change on urban economies has been quantified.

The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, analyses 1,692 cities around the world and shows that the collective economic burden of climate change for cities over this century could be 2.6 times higher, when the effects of concentrated pools of heat or “heat islands” that form in heavily built-up areas are taken into account. While the global average of the losses could amount to about 5.6 per cent of the GDP by the end of the century, for the worst-affected cities, this figure is likely to be much higher, even up to 10.9 per cent of the GDP.

Heat islands form when natural vegetation is replaced by heat-capturing surfaces such as concrete, asphalt and glass. Warming in cities is worse than the countryside due to vehicular pollution, air conditioners and industrial emissions. The heat island effect has been estimated to add up to 2 degrees Celsius for the most populous cities by mid-century.

The authors—from the University of Sussex in the UK, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and Vrije University Amsterdam—have used their research to suggest that local efforts to cut down warming are just as important as macro-scale global efforts. Researchers have used a cost-benefit analysis to compare different local strategies for their heat-combating potential. According to the team, the cheapest measure is a moderate-scale installation of cool pavements and roofs which capture less and reflect more solar radiation. Converting 20 per cent of the urban surfaces to “cool” variants could save up to 12 times the cost of maintenance and installation, says the study.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

SC asks Centre to strike a balance on Rohingya issue (.hindu)

Supreme Court orally indicates that the government should not deport Rohingya “now” as the Centre prevails over it to not record any such views in its formal order, citing “international ramifications”.

The Supreme Court on Friday came close to ordering the government not to deport the Rohingya.

It finally settled on merely observing that a balance should be struck between humanitarian concern for the community and the country's national security and economic interests.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions, one filed by persons within the Rohingya community, against a proposed move to deport over 40,000 Rohingya refugees. A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, began by orally indicating that the government should not deport Rohingya “now”, but the government prevailed on the court to not pass any formal order, citing “international ramifications”. With this, the status quo continues even though the court gave the community liberty to approach it in …

Khar’s experimentation with Himalayan nettle brings recognition (downtoearth)

Nature never fails to surprise us. In many parts of the world, natural resources are the only source of livelihood opportunities available to people. They can be in the form of wild shrubs like Daphne papyracea and Daphne bholua (paper plant) that are used to make paper or Gossypium spp (cotton) that forms the backbone of the textile industry.

Nothing can compete with the dynamism of biological resources. Recently, Girardinia diversifolia (Himalayan nettle), a fibre-yielding plant, has become an important livelihood option for people living in the remote mountainous villages of the Hindu Kush Himalaya.

There is a community in Khar, a hamlet in Darchula district in far-western Nepal, which produces fabrics from Himalayan nettle. The fabric and the things made from it are sold in local as well as national and international markets as high-end products.

A Himalayan nettle value chain development initiative implemented by the Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiati…

NGT terminates chairmen of pollution control boards in 10 states (downtoearth,)

Cracking the whip on 10 State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) for ad-hoc appointments, the National Green Tribunal has ordered the termination of Chairpersons of these regulatory authorities. The concerned states are Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Kerala, Rajasthan, Telangana, Haryana, Maharashtra and Manipur. The order was given last week by the principal bench of the NGT, chaired by Justice Swatanter Kumar.

The recent order of June 8, 2017, comes as a follow-up to an NGT judgment given in August 2016. In that judgment, the NGT had issued directions on appointments of Chairmen and Member Secretaries of the SPCBs, emphasising on crucial roles they have in pollution control and abatement. It then specified required qualifications as well as tenure of the authorities. States were required to act on the orders within three months and frame Rules for appointment [See Box: Highlights of the NGT judgment of 2016 on criteria for SPCB chairperson appointment].

Having fai…