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World Trade crumbles as War and Climate Change hit together

Global trade has been immensely disrupted as the two principal sea routes face the challenges of war and global warming.


The Suez Canal of Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea, and the Panama Canal of Panama, connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, are the world’s busiest and most important shipping lanes. At least 5% of global world trade is operated through the Panama Canal and almost 15% through the Suez Canal.  As both the sea routes remain affected, rerouting of ships seems no longer a viable option anymore.


Cartoon: War on Climate change | Winchester Star | winchesterstar.com


The Red Sea Crisis


Ship Attacks, Air Strikes Amid Red Sea Crisis: A Timeline Of Recent Events


The Houthis of Yemen are a Shia Islamist rebel group, and Iran backs them. Showing their solidarity with Palestine as Israel continuously bombs the Gaza Strip, the Houthis have attacked Israel by firing drones and missiles although most have been intercepted.  


The Houthis hijacking a commercial ship in the Red Sea on the 19th of November, however, has been what gave them the world’s attention. Their attack on more ships in the region continues as most traders and countries now fear sending their ships via this route.


Houthis claim that their target ships are the ones that are Israeli-owned, flagged, operated, or that are heading to ports of Israel. But the concern rises as they now attack ships that have no links with Israel. The U.S. has now attacked Houthi bases in Yemen as a response to their attacks on the sea route.


These attacks have caused great disruptions in the global trade world. The costs for goods are at a soaring high. Sailors and other ship crews have started demanding double pay for this risky route.


The drying Panama Canal


Panama Canal: Drought threatens one of the world's most important shipping  routes | Euronews


The Panama Canal has been having a severe drought since last year cutting off at least 36% of ship crossings. The current water level of the canal has been lower than ever causing fewer ships to be able to pass through.


According to the estimations of the Canal Administrators, the dipping water levels could cost USD 500 million and $700 million in 2024. Ricaurte Vasquez Morales, the current administrator of the Panama Canal, declares this drought as a “national problem.”


Climate Scholars regard this drought as a consequence of the El Nino phenomenon. It is associated with higher-than-usual temperatures and warming of the sea surface temperature. The year 2023 has been declared as the warmest year ever recorded in 174 years of observation. Studies show that this phenomenon will prevail until June 2024.


The new world after Globalisation has become interconnected. The disruptions in the sea routes are affecting the whole world from North America to Asia. While stopping the war and sea attacks is not in our hands, climate change still is. 


 


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Edited by: Matsoarelo Makuke


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Tags: #war #globalwarming #climatechange #israelhamas #panamacanal #suezcanal



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