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Science and society in Anthropocene : 

Science and society in Anthropocene Roxana Bojariu Administratia Nationala de Meteorologie Ad Astra


Summary Brave new epoch -Anthropocene Cultural dimensions of Anthropocene Climate change and its cultural solutions IPCC process Scientists, politicians and res publica Climate and cultural change in Romania Conclusions


“In Anthropocene human population increased tenfold to 6000 million. Urbanisation has even increased tenfold in the past century. In a few generations mankind is exhausting the fossil fuels that were generated over several hundred million years.” “[…] it seems to us more than appropriate to emphasize the central role of mankind in geology and ecology by proposing to use the term 'anthropocene' for the current geological epoch. “To assign a more specific date to the onset of the 'anthropocene" seems somewhat arbitrary, but we propose the latter part of the 18th century. […] we choose this date because, during the past two centuries, the global effects of human activities have become clearly noticeable. Such a starting date also coincides with James Watt's invention of the steam engine in 1784.[…] Unless there is a global catastrophe – a meteorite impact, a world war or a pandemic – mankind will remain a major environmental force for many millennia.” ” Paul J. Crutzen & Eugene F. Stoermer (2000) Source: IPCC,2007

Brave new epoch - Anthropocene : 

Source IPCC, 2007 Brave new epoch - Anthropocene Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global mean sea level.

Cultural dimensions of Anthropocene : 

Cultural dimensions of Anthropocene Climate change issues transcend individual contours in space and time and have become a cultural problem, more than an economic or politic one. The solution is mainly of cultural nature. A Holocene lesson for Anthropocene: Neanderthals probably could not survive the rapid and repeated changes of cold and warm periods of that time due to their extremely limited cultural adaptability; their social networks were not complex enough to adapt to changes in population as temperatures went up and down; it is likely that Neanderthals, less able to compete and adapt to the changing environment, were replaced by modern humans with their inventiveness, more complex social structures, more elaborated communication, which enabled the modern humans to utilize a greater range of resources. the social cohesiveness of modern humans has been an evolutionary advantage; Homo Sapiens survival in Anthropocene depend on cultural values such as: Adaptive strategies (e.g. research & development) Social complex structures (e.g. EU, UN) Intensive communication (politic dialogue on national and international levels) Social cohesiveness (e.g. collaborations, technology transfers among nations)


Climate change and its cultural solutions Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Uncertainties 1990 1992 1995 1997 2001 2005 2007 1st IPCC Report 2nd IPCC Report 3rd IPCC Report 4th IPCC Report


Facts Romanian annual temperature increased in the last century with 0.3 C; the increase is regionally modulated with higher values of 0.8 C in extra-Carpathian regions. Annual precipitation generally decreased in the last century, but the pattern of change is less coherent than the thermal one. Statistics of extreme events is changing (e.g. increased number of hot days, decreased number of frost days, higher values for minimum and maximum temperatures, especially in in winter and summer, higher precipitation intensity). Climate and cultural change in Romania


Facts Romania was the first European country to sign the Kyoto protocol; Romanian reduction of GHG emissions is high (about 30% - 1989 level) mostly due to economic recession in ’90s; Energy efficiency is low (6 x lower than European average); Hydro-electric production and other renewable energy sources provide 28.8% of the total electric energy produced in Romania - Romania is the 3rd in the top of Eastern European countries from the standpoint of clean-energy use; possible problems in future due to projected reduction of water resources in South-Eastern Europe under climate change; other alternative sources consist of geothermal, wind and solar energy; Railway accounts for a large part of total transport implying a climate-friendly development, but road importance significantly increases in recent years (in 2001, roads account for 50% of Romanian transport); However, Romania has to spent 30 billions Euro to implement all European environmental standards Romania: An Assessment of the Lisbon Scorecard GEA-SOREC Report, 2004 Daniel Daianu, Amalia Fugaru, Valentin Lazea, Bianca Păuna, DragoşPîslaru, Gheorghe Oprescu, Liviu Voinea Climate and cultural change in Romania


Short term motivations of public perception related to climate change issues in Romania A long sequence of strong flash flood events occurred in Romania from April 2005 to early October; 70 deaths; ~ estimated costs of around 3 billion Euro. Flash floods in July 2006 10 deaths 67 villages from 12 counties Flash floods in March 2007 38 villages from 10 counties. SPM of AR4 report (IPCC, 2007) – the intensity of precipitation on land is growing under global warming conditions.


Scientists and res publica in Romania “The general perception level on the effects of Climate Change is very low. Nevertheless, some concerns appeared during the past years, due to the increased number of draughts and floods. Why? Widespread low living standards (most people’s planning level is about “How to live tomorrow”, while for the even-not-very-remote future “We`ll manage somehow”). There is a lack of a concerted media campaign, except for the Romanian Service of the BBC. Most of the climate news generally reflects political meetings or related sensationalist news.” Dr. Adrian Stanica Senior researcher, Romanian National Institute for Marine Geology and Geo-ecology And Freelance science journalist for the Romanian Service of the BBC World Service Radio (since 2000), co-producer of the “Science Magazine” weekly feature and daily scientific news and actualities. Romania It is considered sometimes that a new fashion or a hot new issue for media has started related to climate change. There has also been a National Plan developed by our Ministry, officially approved through an act. In 2007 the British Embassy together with the Ministry of Environment and Water Management will start a public campaign distributing leaflets, training school teachers and organizing workshops to increase awareness of climate change. Romanians associate climate change with not having usually heavy snowy winters, the increasing floods frequency with disastrous consequences, hurricanes for the first time, fires or stormy weather during winters causing erosion serious problems and not distinguished seasons anymore. This means that both the environment and economy (tourism, agriculture, forestry, fishing) are affected. Dumitru Dorogan Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development/ Water Resource Management Direction, Romania


Conclusions In my opinion, a cultural mutation is needed to cope effectively with climate change; The cultural mutation has to reintegrate modern humans in physis/nature;

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