Climate change is already here and we are already having to deal with its consequences. But we also have to do more to avoid reaching the point of no return for the earth.
Over the past nine years that I’ve been editing GeoConnexion International, the number of articles that we’ve published about climate change has increased. Partly, that’s down to awareness. As well as the various political discussions between countries around the world, there have been grass roots movements and demonstrations bringing the need for action on climate change into the spotlight.
But I think there’s another factor at play, too: the simple fact that we’re already having to deal with the impact of an already changing climate. From an increase in the number of natural disasters through the pressures on resources to changes in not just the way we live but to where we live, climate change is already transforming people’s lives around the globe. Sometimes in unexpected ways.
On page 34 of this issue, Mary Jo Wagner speaks to the California Department of Water Resources in the US to find out how climate change is resulting in surface subsidence – and how the department is addressing the issue. Also in this issue, on page 38, David Viner, Alasdair Smith and David Gold consider how geospatial data can help to optimise land use and mitigate climate change risk.
However, we need to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions and transition to a world in which we emit a net zero amount (and perhaps even a negative amount, one day). Here, again, geospatial technologies and information will play an integral part. On page 18, we have a special supplement looking at just some of the approaches being adopted and developed to stop our planet becoming uninhabitable.
I hope you enjoy the issue.