If you are keen and sensitive enough to care about the well-being of the environment you live in, then you will definitely notice the widespread and adverse effects of global warming around you. T he concentration of the harmful atmospheric greenhouse gases on Earth is resulting in the planet growing warmer with the passage of time. This in turn, is affecting other aspects like climate, water levels in the sea, pattern of agriculture—the list is endless. The causes of such an undesirable situation, have been attributed to natural and man-made factors, the latter being the more precarious of the two. Natural factors such as the release of methane gas (a greenhouse gas) from arctic tundra and wetlands, contribute towards global warming. However, the man-made factors still do the most damage. Till date, pollution is the biggest enemy of the environment. Its effects on the atmosphere are by and large, the most harmful. Here’s a list of some.
Consequences Of Global Warming
- Ice across the world, such as the ice sheets covering West Antarctica and Greenland and Arctic sea, are melting. This particular effect of global warming is more visible at the Earth’s poles.
- Melting of the snow/ice caps will throw the ecosystem out of balance. The ice caps, which are made of fresh water, desalinate the oceans when they melt. This desalination of ocean water will ruin the currents, which regulates water temperatures.
- A sharp decline of the number of Adélie penguins living in Antarctica has been recorded. In fact, their count has dropped from 32,000 breeding pairs to just 11,000 in the past few decades.
- The rise in the level of the sea has accelerated over the previous century.
- Certain butterflies, foxes and alpine plants have moved far away to the north or to higher, cooler regions.
- Average precipitation, in the form of rain and snowfall, has increased across the world.
- The breed of Spruce Bark Beetles has increased significantly in Alaska due to 20 years of warm summers there. And these insects have chewed away around four million acres of spruce trees.
- It is predicted that the sea levels may rise between 7 and 23 inches by the century’s end. Continuous ice melting at the poles could further add another four to 8 inches.
- Hurricanes and other types of storms may become stronger.
- The cycle of life (i.e. species depending upon one another for food), may get disturbed due to global warming. For instance, plants may blossom much faster, before the pollinating insects can mature.
- Floods and droughts are predicted to become more common as a result of global warming. Water will evaporate quicker when there is a rise in the temperature and the evaporated water is likely to condense to from clouds and precipitate as rain or snow. But the problem is that, the rainfall would not be evenly distributed. In dry and hot areas, where there is a scarcity of water and people depend on the lakes and rivers, increased evaporation is likely to worsen the dry conditions and raise the chances of droughts. Conversely, in wet areas more water will evaporate and cause continuous rainfall, resulting in floods. It is has been estimated that Africa will receive the worst of heat waves and droughts.
- The availability of fresh water may reduce. It is said that, if the Quelccaya ice cap at Peru keeps melting at its present rate, then it will vanish by 2100 and in the process, leave thousands without drinking water and electricity.
- Diseases like malaria will become more widespread, due to the stagnation of water and rise in temperatures.
- The constant rise in the global temperature will impact the agriculture and food production on a global scale. The increase in the level of carbon dioxide, higher temperatures, altered rainfall and transpiration systems, increased frequency of extreme events, and improved weed, pest, and pathogen pressure are the major causes impacting agriculture.
- A change in temperature will lead to a significant change in the weather. Global warming is likely to intensify winds, rains and storms, which can change the overall climate of the Earth. There have been reports of storms, rains and winds being much stronger in velocity than the ones before. Chances of many animals getting extinct are also high. Due the extreme weather conditions or rather alteration in the weather conditions, many animals may not be able to adapt to the climate so fast.
- Wildfires are another danger64s consequence of global warming. As the temperature of the atmosphere is on a constant rise the dry areas of land that are already vulnerable to wildfires are likely to be ravaged by even more frequent and destructive incidents.
- Cold-waves are another threat in northern latitudes, where very low temperatures can be reached in a few hours and prolong over long periods.
- Global warming increases smog pollution in populated areas (cities & towns), which intensifies pollen allergies and asthma. Studies have shown that the number of pollen allergy and asthma sufferers have increased all over the world over the last several decades. Researchers have suggested that this could be an early effect on health owing to climate change.
While a lot of these adverse global warming effects are already taking place, scientists predict a lot more may be in store if adequate and timely precautions are not adhered. Go through this article one more time and contribute to reducing the effects of global warming.