Global climate change has already had observable effects on the environment. Glaciers have shrunk, ice on rivers and lakes is breaking up earlier, plant and animal ranges have shifted and trees are flowering sooner.
Effects that scientists had predicted in the past would result from global climate change are now occurring: loss of sea ice, accelerated sea level rise and longer, more intense heat waves.
Watch how climate change wreaks havoc on the lives of people living in the Pacific Ocean:
The consequences of Climate Change
- Warmer temperatures cause glaciers to melt faster than they can accumulate new snow. As glaciers and the giant ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica melt, they add more water into the ocean, which causes sea level to rise.
- Global sea level has risen by about 8 inches since reliable record keeping began in 1880. It is projected to rise another 1 to 4 feet by 2100.
- Rising sea level is a threat to people who live near the ocean. Some low-lying areas will have more frequent flooding. Very low-lying land and small islands could be submerged completely.
- Rising sea level can also harm important coastal ecosystems like mangrove forests and coral reefs.
- It increases the risk of damage to homes and buildings from storm surges that accompany tropical cyclones. In the next several decades, storm surges and high tides could combine with sea level rise and land subsidence to further increase flooding in many of these regions.
More frequent extreme weather events
e.g. heat waves, flood, drought and tropical cyclones.
Hurricanes and other tropical storms get their energy from warm ocean water.
As the top layer of the ocean gets warmer, hurricanes and other tropical storms grow stronger, with faster winds and heavier rain.
Hurricanes and other storms can cause flooding; damage buildings, roads, and other structures; harm crops; and put people’s lives in danger.
Lengthened growing season in the higher latitudes
- With longer growing seasons, fruit production in Eastern Canada, vine production in Europe has increased. More types of crops such as blackberries and maize can be grown in the UK as the growing season lengthens.
- However, in China, production of fruits such as apples and cherries or nuts such as almonds and walnuts is reduced as these fruits and nuts require cool weather temperature. Similarly, in Canada, the production of wheat is reduced as temperatures increased.
Spread of some insect-borne diseases
- Heavy rainfall allows mosquitoes to breed and grow rapidly. This results in the spread of malaria and dengue fever. Infected people may lose their lives and the government has to spend a lot of money on healthcare for the sick.
- The researchers found that both unusually high air temperatures and periods of excessive rainfall create environmental conditions that favour bacterial growth. In dry conditions, river levels decrease, and bacteria accumulate in dangerously high concentrations. During excessive rainfall, flooding can spread bacteria to regions that haven’t previously been infected, resulting in fast-spreading epidemics. Even in the past decade, regions of Africa have seen a re-emergence of the disease due to extreme weather, the team reported.
- For a more detailed article on the spread of diseases, read this: https://theserangoonview.wordpress.com/2017/02/28/cholera-other-illnesses-may-spread-with-climate-change/
Did you know?
Read the full article here:
See how wheat production drops with increases in global temperatures: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/global-warming-every-degree-rise-could-see-drop-wheat-yield-by-quarter-present-production-1483104
To see the evidence of Global warming, go here: https://theserangoonview.wordpress.com/2017/03/09/climate-change-how-do-we-know/
To find out more about how sea level rise affects people, read here: http://blog.conservation.org/2015/11/melting-ice-a-ticking-time-bomb-for-pacific-islands/
The Dzud- Mongolia’s increasingly frequent harsh winters after a summer drought decimates livestock and animals: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8589629.stm http://theubpost.mn/2016/12/23/dzud-may-affect-up-to-150000-herders/
Leave a reply!
- After watching the video above, what are three challenges the Kirabati citizens face because of sea-level rise?
- What implications does the lengthening growing season have for countries in the higher latitudes?
- What is the link between rising global temperatures and the rise in insect-borne diseases? Explain.