Change in global and regional climate patterns attributed to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels
Major Effects Of Global Warming
Earth’s average surface temperature has been rising steadily since 1906 by 1.6 Fahrenheit (even more drastically in the sensitive north and south poles). Carbon emissions only exacerbated the situation in the 20th century.
It must be mentioned that carbon emissions are also created naturally in the form of volcanoes, forest fires, and other natural occurrences. However, human beings are largely the main culprits for the tremendous increase in carbon emissions. We’re causing the greenhouse effect and slowly killing mother earth.
Many changes have taken place to reduce global warming and our carbon footprint. However, complete change is not coming very soon. Some would argue that it’s too little done too late. The devastating effects of global warming will only worsen, and it’s not set to take place in some distant future or a futuristic science fiction movie.
The scientific community prefers to use the phrase ‘climate change,’ which involves the shifts occurring in the planet’s weather systems. Extreme weather, shifting wildlife habitats, rising sea levels, and more are the effects we can expect as we continue to force greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Effects Taking Place Now
Scientists have already documented the devastating impact of global warming.
Ice reserves are melting globally, particularly at the poles. Ice sheets (that cover Greenland, the Arctic sea, and West Antarctica) and mountain glaciers are melting. Montana’s Glacier National Park has been recorded to have declined from more than 150 in 1910 to less than 30. Less fresh water will become available to humans since most fresh water supplied to continents comes from glaciers.
Rising Sea Levels
Scientists document a 0.13 increase in sea levels every year. What’s disturbing is that levels have been increasing faster in recent years, and it’s predicted that they will only increase in years to come.
The earth’s rising temperatures are causing changes in the habitats of wildlife Certain species of penguin (Adélie Penguin) are facing challenges in Antarctica. Populations have decreased by over 90 percent on the western peninsula. Species such as butterflies also migrate to northern territories for higher and cooler areas. These species may adopt and become successful. Other species, such as polar bears, could become extinct.
In addition, coral reefs are dying due to the thermal stress caused by rising sea temperatures. Coral reefs protect coastlines from erosion and storms, provide jobs, and create tourism income for some communities. Over half a billion people worldwide rely on coral reefs for income, food, and protection. It’s predicted that an increase of 34.7 Fahrenheit will cause 70 to 90 percent of the earth’s coral reefs to die.
Thriving Pests and Diseases
Pests like mosquitoes, ticks, and crop pests thrive in the heat. Populations of bark beetles that feed and destroy pine trees have devastated millions of acres of green forests that could’ve helped counter greenhouse gasses. Southern Pine Beetles are invading the north of America, which is a significant threat to the forests in this region.
In addition, wheat rusts have become more aggressive in later years due to global warming climates. This significantly threatens wheat production as it has become more aggressive. Scientists have predicted that climate change will directly affect the increase of diseases and pests. Diseases such as the Zika virus and malaria will become more prominent.
Extreme Weather Conditions
Hurricanes in the Northern Hemisphere will become more severe and common. Severe droughts across the US. This increases the loss of crops, devastating wildfires, and the loss of more crops. In contrast, some regions in the US are experiencing (and will experience) increased snowfall and rain. This will lead to crippling floods and more loss of crops and infrastructure.