Global warming is something every one of us heard of- it’s such a popular subject that we learn of it at school. But unfortunately a lot of us ignore it, it’s just a part of general knowledge that remains in an inactive state in our brains. It is actually a problem we should all be aware of.
Just like the fear of death, we should fear the disturbance of the sensible equilibrium on our home planet. Think about this: we are a small point in the Universe, a place that is more than special, a place that hosts life. There is not planet we know of that could resemble Terra. Of course, scientists often compare planets like Mars(which is entirely a desert now) which may have hosted life in the past, or Titan(largest moon of Saturn) which resembles Earth in its youth(it actually has a denser atmosphere than Earth). Furthermore, the shortest distance to a star that could host a system similar to ours is Alpha Centauri which is 4,3 light-years away from us. Chances are anyway low that we could find life there. So you can think yourself that we have to treat our planet with love and respect.
This wasn’t a major problem in the past because Earth could look out for itself. Now, as we are reaching the terrible number of almost 7 billion human lives, we start to influence the Earth’s atmosphere, which is all that we have to protect us from the dangers and temperature fluctuations of outer space. We should start showing love and protection for our still hospitable planet.
Global warming effects are bad. It’s not only bad for the extreme heat we have to endure during summer droughts or heat waves that blast entire continents, it’s the spark for a huge chain reaction. Here’s a summary of what can happen, based on temperature changes:
As you can see, as the temperature change grows, bad things start to happen. Some things are very sensible to the increase of the temperature, like the Ecosystems and weather conditions. There is also a critical point where changes are irreversible and the planet can end up like Mars- a planet of sand.
You can’t ignore this. It directly affects YOU. People die because these changes. Even more sad is that animals and plants die- they don’t have the required intelligence to self-protect against this type of danger. Pollution must end as fast as possible. This isn’t a process that happens at a geological scale anymore. In the matter of a human lifetime from now, if things continue like this, we’ll be able to make “Earth then and now” articles, with “then” meaning our period of time. It’s a fast degradation process that doesn’t forgive. It can be stopped until it’s not too late, and reversed.
My search for informations about this have revealed a top 10 of the worst effects of global warming:
10. Rising Sea Level
Sea levels could be more than 20 feet (6 meters) higher in 2100 than they are today.Such levels would submerge many of Indonesia’s tropical islands and flood low-lying areas such as Miami, New York City’s Lower Manhattan and Bangladesh.
9. Shrinking Glaciers
In the span of a century, glaciers in Montana’s Glacier National Park have deteriorated from 150 to just 35
8. Heat Waves
The deadly heat wave that swept across Europe in 2003, killing an estimated 35,000 people, could be the harbinger of an intense heat trend that scientists began tracking in the early 1900s. Extreme heat waves are happening two to four times more often now, steadily rising over the last 50 to 100 years, and are projected to be 100 times more likely over the next 40 years.
7. Storms and Floods
Warm waters give hurricanes their strength, and scientists are correlating the increase in ocean and atmospheric temperatures to the rate of violent storms. During the last few years, both the United Statesand Britain have experienced extreme storms and flooding, costing lives and billions of dollars in damages. Between 1905 and 2005 the frequency of hurricanes has been on a steady ascent. From 1905 to 1930, there were an average of 3.5 hurricanes per year; 5.1 between 1931 and 1994; and 8.4 between 1995 and 2005.
As the climate warms, experts estimate drought conditions may increase by at least 66 percent. Today, India, Pakistan and sub-Saharan Africa already experience droughts, and experts predict precipitation could continue to dwindle in the coming decades. Estimates paint a dire picture. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggests that by 2020, 75 to 250 million Africans may experience water shortages, and the continent’s agricultural output will decrease by 50 percent.
Warmer temperatures along with associated floods and droughts are encouraging worldwide health threats by creating an environment where mosquitoes, ticks, mice and other disease-carrying creatures thrive. TheWorld Health Organization (WHO) reports that outbreaks of new or resurgent diseases are on the rise and in more disparate countries than ever before, including tropical illnesses in once cold climates — such as mosquitoes infecting Canadians with West Nile virus. While more than 150,000 people die from climate change-related sickness each year, everything from heat-related heart and respiratory problems to malaria are on the rise.
4. Economic Consequences
It is obvious that these dramatic effects come along with huge economy drops. Food shortage will have a big impact on economy.
3. Conflicts and War
Declining amounts of quality food, water and land may be leading to an increase in global security threats, conflict and war.
2. Loss of Biodiversity
Species loss and endangerment is rising along with global temperatures. As many as 30 percent of plant and animal species alive today risk extinction by 2050 if average temperatures rise more than 2 to 11.5 degrees F (1.1 to 6.4 degrees C) .
1. Destruction of Ecosystems
Evidence shows effects of climate change on physical and biological systems, which means no part of the world is spared from the impact of changes to land, water and life. Scientists are already observing the bleaching and death of coral reefs due to warming ocean waters, as well as the migration of vulnerable plants and animals to alternate geographic ranges due to rising air and water temperatures and melting ice sheets.
Info from http://science.howstuffworks.com/
In a future articles I will talk about methods of stopping this process and how you can participate to reduce this climate change.