Essay On Tokyo & Climate Change
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Tokyo is an industrial city located in the flood plains of three rivers namely Sumida, Ara and Edo rivers all found in the Kanto region. A large part of Tokyo is located in the below the levels of the rivers thus is greatly by the floods that take place due to the heavy precipitation that occurs during the rainy season. The intensity of the floods is aggravated since Japan is a highly mountainous place thus leading to the increase in water pressure of the rivers flowing in the lowland regions. The human activities in Japan have led to the heat island effects, which is now progressing fast. The strange weather phenomena due to the climate change in Japan are characterized by increased sea levels, heat waves, drought and the melting of glaciers and Arctic ice (C40 CITIES nd.).
Most of Tokyo metropolis comprises of land that has been reclaimed from the sea thus with the increased human activities in the city, the residents are suffering from the heat island effect which has been caused by the retained radiant heat by concrete and asphalt used in the construction of the building. The elevated temperatures are what have led to the increased precipitation in the city. The huge water evaporations take place in the coast leading to condensation of the moisture in the highland areas. The heavy rainfall causes flooding in the lowland region where the city is situated affecting the people adversely. It is clear from the various analyses carried out on the city’s climate change problem that the high concentrated development in the city is what has contributed to heating island effect. The root cause of the climate change problem in Japan is the dense population in the city (C40 CITIES nd). The people participate in various activities that heighten the production of green house and carbon IV oxide gases leading to global warming in the space.
Tokyo’s energy sector has contributed greatly to the alteration of the climate as it relies heavily on the use of coal and petroleum products, which are major contributors of Carbon gases. The increased concentration of the carbon gases in the atmosphere has led to the increase in temperatures making the working conditions of the people in the city very hostile. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has devised a plan to cope with the change of climate in the city thus making in a way the lives of the people comfortable. Before the enactment of the plan, it came up with some implementation strategies to manage the situation. First, it has altered the working hours to ensure that the temperature in the buildings is tolerable for the workers. The move seems very efficient as an inhabitable atmosphere increases the productivity of the workers as their bodies are not under any pressure. The move also ensures that ailments associated with increased temperatures are minimized. Despite its efficiency, it had some limitations, as it was costly as the working hours shifted from day to night. It led to the increase in the cost of operations as the energy required to light up the place was costly but it was the only move at the time thus had to be adopted. It also revised the dressing code to allow for much comfort to the workers thus reducing the cooling in the buildings.
The plan the city devised in relation to climate change mostly focused on flooding and the heating island effects. Although most of the plans even after implementation were not a 100% effective, they helped in a way as the lives of the people were at stake. The first plan to be implemented by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government involved building the Tsumiri multipurpose water detention basin that has a volume of 3.9 million cubic meters of water. The water basin was to ensure safety from a 150-year flood thus is very essential to Tokyo’s inhabitants. The basin is fitted with recreational facilities, a sports venue and a park that provide the residents with a conducive site for relaxation. The water storage facility has raised roads, which make transportation easy (C40 CITIES nd.) This implementation of the plan was very crucial as it helped counter the flooding in the city largely thus preventing the damage of property and the saving of lives of the locals. The construction of the water facility has no limitations at all as it foundations is strong to counter the effect of water pressure.
The other plan was the creation of a decentralized energy system that comprised of renewable sources of energy as the use of coal and petroleum contributed largely to the carbon IV oxide emissions in the atmosphere, which led to global warming in the city. The plan was effective, as it would ensure continued energy supply and the conservation of the environment. The Tokyo energy saving program was to synthesize the community on the best energy saving tips and the importance of using renewable sources of energy especially for lighting and cooking. Doing it would ensure maximum participation of all the persons tom reduce the heating island effect (Tokyo Metropolitan Government 2007).
Tokyo’s Adaptation to climate change
Tokyo instituted the construction green buildings to counter the effect of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere due to the large amount of energy consumption in the city. The high-energy use was the major cause of the heating island effect as there were increased industrial activities in the town. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government set up building regulations, which ensured that the CO2 emissions were reduced by the targeted amount in the specified time. For the reduction of energy, the buildings need to have thermal loads for insulation (Rowan 2013). Approximately all the devices in the building were to use renewable sources and the building equipments needed to be energy efficient. The construction materials were to be eco-friendly thus ensuring conservation of the environment and necessary measures were to be fitted to ensure the water from the building was recycled (Simpson 2012.). Plants were to be planted around the building thus making the environment look green and maintaining nature’s bio-diversity. Despite the great contribution the buildings played in the conservation of the environment, the reduction of emissions and energy use, they some limitations. Due to their large nature, they hindered sunlight since they have a very large shade. They also led to environmental degradation in their construction. The advantages they bring to Japan’s environment exceed the limitations as they play a great role in countering the heating island effect caused by CO2 thus responding tom Tokyo’s cap and trade.
The Metropolitan Government of Tokyo developed waste management measure in all sectors to heighten the conservation of the environment. Some of the waste was very toxic thus emitted very dangerous gases in the atmosphere. The waste management was carried out in two phases. It was made a law that the companies in the city use re-usable packing containers for their products (PADECO 2010). It also enacted a law that ensures all construction and demolition waste is recycled thus leading to the conservation of the environment. The move by the Metropolitan government to manage the waste and enhance recycling in the city was a great boost to the city’s hygiene. The waste incineration facilities in the 23 wards had the capability of producing power thus leading to energy recovery of more than 20%. The incinerators were also utilized to supply heat in the buildings in the winter periods. Waste paper in the offices was recycled thus promoting environment maintenance.
The harsh realities of climate change can only be eliminated by the collective efforts of all the individuals in Tokyo. It is not the responsibility of the TMG to make the changes; it acts as a guide to the changes thus the individuals and all the affected part have to join hands to eliminate the global warming menace. The efforts made by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to combat the climate change are impressing. Tokyo is one of the cities in the world with the largest economies thus, it is expected that there are increased production. The large number of small business units producing the various good in the economy have large amount of waste emissions that needs to be managed to counter the consequences may arise because of its mishandling. The green house buildings played a big role in the reduction of greenhouse gasses and carbon emissions.
C40 CITIES, Tokyo: Climate change adaptation.
C40 CITIES, Tokyo: Tokyo and climate change.
Global Greenhouse Warming, 2014. Climate Mitigation and Adaptation.
Hoper Rowan, (July 13, 2013). Effects will become more obvious as Japan’s climate changes. The Japan Times
Nature Publishing Group, How blow the winds of change. CLIMATE CGANGE: IMPACTS ON JAPAN.
PADECO, May 2010. Cities and Climate Change Mitigation: Case Study on Tokyo’s Emissions Trading System. Tokyo: Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Miyazawa. [Print]
Tokyo Metropolitan Government, June 2007. Tokyo Climate Change Strategy. [Online]
Toby Simpson, 2012. Tokyo: Energy and Climate Change. [Online] January 13 2012