Climate change is an issue that will affect every part of the planet, every area will be affected in some way. The earth runs in a cycle what happens at one end will eventually affect another. In recent decades glaciers have shrunk, ice on rivers and lakes is breaking up earlier, plants and animal ranges have shifted and trees are flowering sooner. The natural equilibrium of nature is changing; it has taken millions of years of evolution for planet earth to reach the inhabitable state that exists currently. To say that humans aren’t the ones causing a dramatic change through carbon dioxide emissions and other chemicals would be ignorant. The consequences of climate change are currently being witnessed as in recent years the number of natural disasters has increased dramatically, between 2000-2009 there were 3x more natural disasters than 1980-1989. The years 2001-2004 were the three warmest years recorded since 1861. The effects of climate change is already present in our daily lives listening to the weather stations we hear breaking temperature records more often, in both the winter and the summer months. The extreme cold and ice storms that occurred in both the U.S and Canada over the past few weeks are an example of climate change. It is believed that as global warming continues there will be higher risks of the polar artic vortex spilling south towards Canada and the continental U.S resulting in the severe weather we experienced. The increase of temperatures, even an increase of 1 degree to the average temperature would have unprecedented consequences. During the last ice age the temperature only decreased by 5 degrees displaying how fragile earth is to temperature changes. In addition, the glaciers and land ice is melting resulting in a increase of sea levels this is thus causing flooding in many low level islands such as the Maldives. It is predicted that in the next few decades such islands will completely be covered in water. Many of the world’s major cities are coastal therefore, when sea levels do rise it will destroy or cause mass flooding with this there will be more disease as the sewers will overflow, in addition the economic costs of such disasters would be massive.
Furthermore, global warming is causing weather patterns to be change, some areas are facing extreme flooding while others are facing severe drought. Climate change affects human health as the temperature increases, there are more severe heat waves for example the 2003 heat wave that hit eastern Europe caused 20000 deaths, the drought in Ethiopia during the 70’s and 80’s was caused by global dimming, when the clouds reflect the suns rays back into space causing the climate to cool in certain areas, during the 70’s and 80’s it resulted in the waters of the northern hemisphere to become too cool so water vapor wouldn’t cause cloud formations resulting in no rain fall in Ethiopia and North Africa. Climate change also causes a more widespread problem of infectious diseases this is because warmer temperatures allow insect carriers and bacteria to strive higher up north leading to infectious disease epidemics that are not suppose to thrive in temperate regions.
Climate change is also causing water shortages as earth warms there is less fresh water available in both quality and quantity. In the past few decades 125 artic lakes have disappeared, ice caps that are comprised of fresh water are melting. In a world already facing a water crisis in some areas the issue is about to get worse in the next few decades. Rivers will dry up, there will be less snow pack during winter months resulting in certain springs, streams and lakes not being refilled with the spring melt.
Earth as we know it will change, in the next 100 years polar bears will be extinct, coral reefs will be gone as they are bleaching due to the temperature increase and there are more environmental refugees in the world than those of all wars and conflicts.