Octavia BOGDAN, Climate Change and Tourism. Between Opportunity and Unpredictability

Abstract

The 4th IPCC Report (2007) states that global change is unquestionably underway, affecting all environmental components, as well as the economy and human society at large. This ongoing process, started in 1980, is mainly the consequence of gas-induced greenhouse air pollution. The Expert Group for Climate Change devised a number of scenarios of a global rise of the air temperature mean values by 1.8-4.0˚C at the end of the 21st century compared to the 1980-1990 interval. According to B1 scenario, the temperature in Europe is expected to increase by 2.0-2.5˚C (Sandu et al., 2010, p. 21), while B2 scenario forecasts 4.0-5.0˚C if the gas-induced greenhouse air pollution is not stopped. The latest estimations contained in the 5th IPCC Report (2013) suggest that, by the end of the 21st century, the mean global temperature could be higher by 1.5˚C than in the years 1850-1900, other scenarios indicating 2.0˚C and over (Bojariu et al., 2015, pp. 88-89). The specialist literature considers that among the numerous and unpredictable consequences  of this process, tourism will be the most affected by climate warming, basically by its meteo-climatic and hydrological hazards of great destructive potential, e.g. higher incidence of meteo-climatic risks, especially thermal-pluviometric contrasts, canicular temperatures, the melting of mountain and ice-cap glaciers, greater concentration of  gases with greenhouse effect, disturbance of tourists’ health condition, etc. All these situations might destabilise the local and regional climate, disturb the translation of climatic zones and seasons, induce abnormal psychic and social behaviour, all with obvious impact on tourism. As indicated in the STERN Report (2007), two measures should necessarily be taken: adjusting to the new climatic conditions and undertaking a new type of tourism management in line with European and international norms, in order to ensure the profitable and sustainable development of this domain.

Key words: climate change, global warming, meteo-climatic and hydrological hazards, tourism adjustment and management.

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