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Affecting The Archipelago: The Effects Of Climate Change On The Nation Of Indonesia And Proposed Responses

1240 words - 5 pages

Over the past fifteen to twenty years, the concept of a warming climate on a global scale has been increasingly discussed and brought into the public eye. Various drivers have been debated , and the jury is still out as to which can be seen as the primary cause for the worldwide shifts in temperature. Though agreement may not necessarily be reached as to the primary cause, the effects are becoming increasingly hard to ignore. Though these effects can be seen in many (one might even argue, most) locations around the world, they are certainly greater in severity in certain locales. One such location is the archipelago nation of Indonesia.
The impacts of climate change, both those already seen and those potentially coming to fruition in the future, can be quantified to a certain extent through an assessment of the environmental changes seen by the region (Woodward et al. 1998). The potential future aspects, referred to hereafter as "vulnerabilities," are much more difficult to comprehend or adapt to than their already seen counterparts ("impacts"). Variation in climate in and of itself is far from an unheard of phenomenon, and this fact alone has been one which has driven the climate change denialist movement. However, numerous models predict a climate that will change at a much more rapid rate over the coming years. Among the many effects of this temperature increase is the potential of rising sea levels (Woodward et al. 1998). Vulnerabilities such as potential sea level rise are some of the issues facing Indonesia in the near future. It is not only vulnerabilities of a strictly environmental sense, such as rising sea level, which can cause a nation to be increasingly susceptible to the effects of a changing climate. Social, economic, and political aspects all work in concert to paint a picture of how a nation will be able to respond to the changes which will be coming as a result of the changing climate.
Exceptional Vulnerability
Due to its geographical location as an archipelago in southeast Asia, Indonesia can be seen as a nation particularly vulnerable and susceptible to climate change from an environmental perspective. Economic, social, political, and educational aspects of the nation also contribute to its vulnerability in various methods. The environmental and physical factors contributing to Indonesia's vulnerability to the effects of climate change will be examined first.
Environmental & Physical Factors
Many geographical factors affect Indonesia which serve to increase its vulnerability to the changing climate at various levels. Its status as a region surrounded by water and it's not-too-high elevation contribute to this vulnerability. As a result of these factors, Indonesia has been labeled as "vulnerable to droughts, floods, landslides, and sea level rise" (Yusuf & Francisco 2009). In addition to this, Indonesia has a history of forest fire-related carbon emissions (explained further below in "Contributions to...

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