- Explain the significance of the grand challenge that you consider in this assignment.
System thinking engulfs the criterion of problem solving that concentrates on the larger picture of all the responsible aspects, as opposed to objective approaches which focus on those agents that are directly linked to the problem only. Taking the challenge of global warming and climate change, this problem solving approach can be demonstrated effectively. What makes it so pronounced is the threat it poses to a large portion of the earth and generations to come. New York City, Norfolk, Va., Venice, Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines, other coastal areas, and island nations are only examples of instances with already observable consequences. The earth and its population rely on the productivity of natural resources guided by climate changes. Global warming has gradual and distinct impacts on natural land formations and has a large responsibility in the changing climate. For instance, it can only be hinted that the melting of ice caps at high altitudes in Polar Regions is as a result of this phenomenon. The overall impact of global warming cannot be described within the constructs of climate change, drought, and desertification and land degradation only.
- Identify 3-5 factors causing the challenge to worsen. What is the interrelationship between these factors in terms of their impacts on the grand challenge
Actually, a number of factors can be highlighted as the most responsible stakeholders in worsening this challenge. Energy, which falls in the first rank in this context, has been the greatest contributor in global warming. The use of fossil fuel has increased from an optimum thirty years ago. Oil and Gas companies which produce these products for the purpose of energy provision have amassed greater wealth at the expense of what it has on the environment. This development coupled with the numerous gadgets and machines that use fossil fuel as their main energy sources have largely contributed to the status of the challenge. Vehicles and industries emit large amounts of destructive gases into the atmosphere which contribute to this factor. Additionally, this can be captured partially in the numerous instances of pollution. Several instances in which Carbon Dioxide and other harmful gases are emitted into the atmosphere also contribute to this phenomenon. However, the degree varies for each form of pollution or pollutant emitted, this factor still remains in the list of those factors that worsen the global warming situation.
Moreover, diminishing of water supplies as a result of drought and desertification as well as land degradation has been a common cause of concern in the world. Numerous cases of water quality and pollution have been hinted as the main factors affecting climate change in those areas. As a matter of fact, it completely affects the hydrological cycle, which is a constituent of climate. Furthermore, poverty and education are factors which have to a large extent paralyzed efforts to help save this situation. There are bodies and governments as well as Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) which have stood up for the past century in fighting global warming. However, their fights are counteracted negatively with poverty and lack of education. The relationship between poverty and education would be well addressed in this context when the African case is considered. A large portion of the African population is uneducated as a result of high levels of poverty, characteristic of high pollution zones, hence, global warming.
- Identify 3-5 factors causing improvements in the grand challenge. What is the interrelationship between these factors in terms of their impacts on the grand challenge?
On the other hand, there are numerous factors that contribute to the improvements in the situation. In a move, branded The Kyoto Protocol, the United Nations has established and signed a framework as a principle improvement factor to enhance the solution to global warming concerns. It is believed that this approach will help harmonize efforts in improving the situation once it is senate ratified. Additionally, the diminishing of poverty and high rates of illiteracy has shown good results as far as this phenomenon is concerned. All over the world, people are sensitized and educated on the significance of their environment with respect to cases of pollution. In most instances, people find themselves polluting the environment without having the slightest idea the effect it has on the overall climate and global warming tendencies. Therefore, the improvement attributed to changes in the pattern of poverty and education is commendable.
Furthermore, the introduction and increased use of alternative energy has helped to reduce the amount of pollution attributed to fossil fuels. Examples of these alternatives which are applied in diverse sections globally are: power plants based on natural gas, solar panels, carbon capture and sequestration smarter grids, better batteries for electrical vehicles, energy smart buildings, wind turbines, conversion of fleets of trucks and buses into carbon oxide free machines as well as electrification of vehicles and many more others. The use of these alternatives has largely improved the global warming situation, and more improvement is perceived in future as researchers are trying to refine fossil fuels to produce those with reduced carbon dioxide emissions as well as the invention of more alternatives for the energy department.
- What has been the pattern (e.g., growing, declining, or remained constant) related to this grand challenge over the past decade? How would you expect the pattern to evolve over the next few decades? How could you explain the historical and future patterns related to this grand challenge
Considering observable effects like melting of the polar caps, the ever-increasing oceans and heat energy into the atmosphere as well as the rampant severe climatic phenomena like hurricanes and tornados (Asia for instance), the pattern of this phenomena can be described as accelerating and to a faster rate of course. As a matter of fact, evaluating the effects in the past years would only reveal a few instances of these impacts as compared to now, a time where its consequences are well spread globally. Given the nature of the challenge, curbing it completely would be unrealistic, that is why it is perceived to accelerate even in future. However, the steps set up to improve the situation can help reduce the pattern though to a marginal extent given that the phenomenon is a global issue and not a regional crime case. Therefore, unless more radical approaches like the The Kyoto Protocol are adopted, the world will be in the verge of its worst experience in the near future as far as global warming and climate change is concerned.
- Explain three examples of the interdependencies between this grand challenge and two other global challenges. How do these interdependencies affect the future patterns for this grand challenge
There are more global challenges that are also addressed very much in the same way as this. Interestingly, these global concerns are related. For instance, global warming and energy and pollution are related challenges in that, the use of fossil fuels in the energy sector of virtually sixty percent of the global energy requirements is responsible for the formation of global warming, virtually by the same percentage. As described above, the pollution caused by fossil fuel bears the largest responsibility in climate change as a consequential by-product of global warming. Also, its relationship and the challenge of poverty and education cannot be over sighted. The relationship between poverty and education as described above has some effect on the rates of pollution all over the world, which is contributing factors in this phenomenon. Finally, water and pollution, a global concern that affects every inch of the globe has its share in this interdependency. As a matter of fact, global warming causes climate change which determines the climate of several regions in the globe. Therefore, drought and desertification are principle aspects of climate change orchestrated by global warming.
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