Tuvalu, formerly referred to as Ellice Islands, is one of the smallest island nations on the planet. It is a former British colony and achieved its independence in the year 1979. Given that Tuvalu is a low-lying island, the fluctuations of water levels due to global warming has greatly impacted this small country. Even worse, its location is halfway between Australia and Hawaii. Therefore, Tuvalu’s population of more than 11, 000 is under economic threat due to a warming planet. Unless the global community ratifies the Paris agreement on climate change, Tuvalu will be completely submerged by the end of the 21st Century.
Question 2. I
The planet is increasingly industrializing. The resultant globalization yields economic development both in the third world countries and the developed world. However, the destruction of the ozone layer by large nations such as China, Australia, and the United States has a heavy toll on small island nation’s economy. As the polar ice melt due to soaring temperatures, the sea level rises. Consequently, isolated nations such as Tuvalu are faced with harsh climatic conditions that trigger natural disasters like hurricanes, Tsunamis, and scorching sun. Given that the residents rely on self-produced agricultural products for food and household provisions, their destruction in the farms and failed yields result in a national panic on a potential economic collapse.
Question 3. 1
The researcher conducts the study in Tuvalu region to assess the economic damages due to the changing climate. The country’s weather patterns are fluctuating annually, thus making it harder to predict. Besides, most farmlands experience persistent droughts, resulting in desert conditions. Besides, the fluctuating water levels have led to the salination of groundwater in the island. Further, the mean temperatures are rising continuously, leading to vicious storms and more frequent hot climates. Of keen to note is that most coastline regions in Tuvalu have a less than a meter elevation above sea level. Even worse, the country’s peak regions are less than 5 meters high. Grim statistics such as these scare off investors, hence dimming the economic prospects. However, the situation is reversible if the government and aid workers work hand-in-hand to improve the conditions and reassure the public.
Question 3. II
The researcher plans to conduct a study on the impact of climate change on Tuvalu’s economy. A stable economy guarantees political stability and decent livelihoods for Tuvalu’s 11, 000 inhabitants. If the economy collapses because the farmlands are submerging, the island shall witness a mass exodus, deaths, or shutdown of multinational subsidiaries. Consequently, the financial institutions may fail, hence plunging the country into a long-term economic crisis.
There are various hypotheses for this research. First, the climate change damages infrastructure and properties, especially when Tuvalu experiences extreme storms, floods, and sea-level rise (Montreux et al. 107). Secondly, the daily disruptions lead to lost productivity among the citizens. People will feel the impact of fisheries, trade, tourism, transport, and energy production. Third, climate change results in security threats and mass migration. Consequently, the number of climate refugees will increase in countries such as the United States and Australia. Finally, there will be high coping costs as the citizens prepare to deal with global warming and environmental pollution. In the long run, the government invests heavily on steps to minimize carbon emissions, thus affecting the economic performance.
The researcher gathers data through interviews and observations. Government representatives and individuals living in the adversely affected areas are the study subjects. Furthermore, the researcher works with the local community members that understand the weather patterns and the latest changes. Economic experts in the country will come in handy, especially during the analysis of the country’s economic data and trends. Some of the most useful research tools include internet resources and academic journals. The secondary information on economic performance, rainfall patterns, storms, and hurricanes are available on Tuvalu’s government domain. On the other hand, the financial market performance data is useful in tracking periodic economic performance both in the country and across the globe.
A historian will research on this topic in a similar manner to the economist. For example, he will be interested in tracking the historical climatic changes in the region and the long-term impact. In addition, the researcher will compare the country’s data on sea level changes since the colonial era. Understandably, the historian will employ concepts of historical development theory and comparative research. However, the difference will emerge when the researcher utilizes historical journals and focus groups to review secondary and primary data respectively. Most importantly, the historical research confirms the economist’s findings, thus boosting the credibility of the outcome.
In summary, this assignment teaches the importance of incorporating diverse sources of information when conducting a study. While the analysis may be time-consuming and costly, the benefits derived will not only be useful to the researcher but also to Tuvalu’s inhabitants. Additionally, the study instills value on the importance of limiting pollution through curbing carbon emissions and shifting to green forms of energy (Fabrotko 281). Yet, this research creates awareness on the global interconnectivity between the activities occurring on the mainland and those in remote places such as Tuvalu. It stresses the delicate nature of planet Earth and the need for cautiousness when handling environmental matters. Most importantly, the research gives the data analyst a chance of reflecting on how the human activity, within a short time-span, can alter the course of nature to their devastation.
- Mortreux, Colette, and Jon Barnett. “Climate Change, Migration and Adaptation in Funafuti, Tuvalu.” Global Environmental Change 19.1 (2012): 105-112.
- Farbotko, Carol. “Tuvalu and Climate Change: Constructions of Environmental Displacement in the Sydney Morning Herald.” Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography 87.4 (2015): 279-293.