Top 10 Effects of Global Warming

Global warming is a phenomenon wherein there occurs a rise in the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere and water bodies since the late 19th century and is still an on-going process. Since the early 1900’s, Earth’s average surface temperature has rose by about 0.8 °C(1.4 °F), with almost two-thirds of this hike occurring since 1980. Proposed policy responses to this crisis include mitigation through emissions reduction, adaptation to its effects etc. Most of the countries in the world  are members of the  United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC)  whose sole objective is to prevent dangerous anthropocentric i.e., human-induced climate change. All of the party members have taken an oath to adopt a range of policies that work around reducing greenhouse gas emissions that are the sole reason for an increase in global. Currently efforts as of the early 21st century that  are mainly directed towards  reducing emissions seem to  be quite  inadequate to cope up with  the UNFCCC’s 2 °C target. Here are the top 10 causes for Global Warming.

10) War

Hostilities and conflicts amongst countries are constantly on the rise as nations are competent and ruthless when it comes to acquiring resources. An important example of this is the genocide in the Darfur region situated in Sudan or the Somalian war with roots in the reduction of its natural resources due to the sole reasons of climate change. It is clearly evident that the increasing number of wars that commence on the foundation of food and water scarcities may lead to uncontrollable levels of aggression, security trouble, regional instability, panic etc. We should realize that there is a direct relationship between a geological condition such as global warming and civil unrest. Production of weapons, the oil industry etc.  is often considered to be the most common reasons for global politics.

9) Ecosystem Failure

An Increase in greenhouse gases can cause drastic and irreversible changes both in the upper atmosphere and within the planet thus affecting it’s every component including land, water, air etc. and the processes that occur at all these levels. If not becoming extinct , animals and plants move away  to non-native habitats when the very ecosystems that they were adapted to for survival lose its quality or probably even disappear. Similarly , humans will also migrate due to changing weather conditions thus leading to a high demand for limited resources in a particular place. The effects of a climate change on physical and biological systems are already reflecting through cases like depletion of coral reefs, migration of vulnerable plants and animals, melting glaciers, formation of acidic water etc. 

 8) Economic collapse

The results of climate change have a direct relationship with a nation’s economy. Natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods as an effect of the global warming process end up becoming a costly affair for the government in terms of clean-up costs, property damage and rehabilitation costs. Crisis like this in turn result in a hike when it comes to food and energy costs. Looking at the pace of things, it has been predicted that global warming crises could be labelled with a $20 trillion price tag by 2100. Many countries run a huge risk on a daily basis because the national income is dependent on one particular area such as oil, tourism, plantation, etc. and can lose everything with the loss of that single particular sector. The presence of globalization can thus create a domino effect which means that if a country is affected , several other countries are bound to get affected too even if they might be on the other end of the globe.

7) Droughts

A warmer climate owing to global warming will eventually lead to diminishing water supplies and pathetic  agricultural conditions in turn resulting in crop failures If these water shortages are persistent it  will cause a lot of disruptions in global food production by affecting agriculture and is thus paving a way for situations such as starvation . Research states that the drought conditions are said to increase by at least a minimum of 66% by 2020. Almost more than 60% of Africa by this time will have to live in a country where the continent’s agricultural output is going to drastically decrease by 50 %

6) Storms

The phenomenon of Global warming is bound to increase the degree of severity in terms of storms. Warmer temperatures and warmer ocean waters would fuel the intensity of these storms thus leading to a high number of devastating hurricanes. On observing the pattern of storms in the past decade it can be noted that the frequency has literally doubled. Along with floods comes loss of lives, damage to property, resources etc.

5) Effects on human health

Research states that more than 1, 50,000 people die from climate change-related diseases on a yearly basis. Changes in weather conditions can lead to health conditions ranging from heat-related heart and respiratory problems to malaria .Droughts, floods and warmer temperatures combine in order to create an apt habitat for insects and creatures such as mosquitoes and other disease-carrying agents. Diseases like West Nile virus, cholera, Lyme disease and dengue fever which were earlier considered to be confined to tropical areas are now spreading worldwide due to the globally rising temperatures. The ability of mankind to react or adapt to the new conditions is completely dependent upon the magnitude and speed of it. The outcome of the scenario will also depend on our ability to recognize such epidemics early, restrict their spread, and effectively provide appropriate treatment so as to effectively cure them and to commit adequate resources, time and energy to prevention and research of other arising and upcoming diseases.

4) Effect on plants and animals

All plants and animals live in regions with extremely specific climate and geological conditions, such as temperature and rainfall patterns, that enable them to survive and reproduce. Any change in the climate of the specific habitat can affect the plants and animals that exist there, as well as the overall makeup of the environment. Some species respond to warmer climatic conditions by migrating to cooler locations. Eg: Some North American animals and plants have moved to the farther north of the region or to higher elevations to meet their requirements. Climate change is also capable of altering the life cycles of plants and animals. For Eg: warmer temperatures would imply plants would possibly grow and bloom earlier in the spring and survive longer into the fall.

3) Extinction

Warming temperature of water bodies, desertification and deforestation can all contribute to the irreversible impact on natural habitat and thus threaten endangerment and even extinction of plant and animal. Eg: the polar bear is considered to be an endangered species whose numbers are falling because of their inability to adapt to the volatile temperature changes in the Polar Regions. Biodiversity is a crucial phenomenon for the existence of human beings and a loss of species of flora and fauna would threaten the entire planet. Around 30 % of plant and animal species alive today risk a chance of getting extinct by 2050 if the average temperature rises more than 2 – 11 degrees F.

2) Rising sea levels

Warm surface temperatures cause glaciers, polar ice shelves and other ice bodies to completely destabilize and melt. This in turn increases the amount of water in the world’s oceans thus contributing to a rise in sea levels. This rise especially threatens populations located in low-lying coastal areas because of their higher vulnerability to flooding. Scientists speculate that the melting ice from Greenland and Antarctica is capable of rising the sea level to more than 20 feet by 2100.This is a dangerous situation especially because most of the people live in coastal areas there. At the same time, nations such as Maldives, is already considering relocation and rehabilitation.

1) Increase in temperature

The intense heat waves and rising temperatures are becoming more common as greenhouse gases are trapped in the atmosphere. Experts state that this will become 100 times more likely to occur over the next 4 decades. The energy from the sun which is responsible for the earth’s weather and climate is radiated back into space. While this happens the greenhouse gases (water vapor, carbon dioxide, and other gases) trap some of the outgoing energy and retaining the heat. This process is similar to the mechanism of a glass paneled greenhouse. The greenhouse effect thus leads to a rise in temperature on, and as it becomes stronger, more heat is trapped within the planet. Majority of these greenhouse gases come from the process of burning fossil fuels in order to produce energy, deforestation, industrial processes etc.