It's high time we knew the importance of our environmental system, which has long been exposed to the most dreadful ecological impacts. Climate change has terribly imbalanced life on earth by altering land and water, the two most essential aspects of our sustenance on planet earth. This is one of the greatest environmental challenges, which is highly driven by human activities such as deforestation, urbanization, greenhouse gas emission, etc. Over a century ago, people all around the world used to burn charcoal and oil for household chores, in factories, and transportation purposes. However, today, excessive burning of these fossil fuels has led to emission of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane in significant amounts into the atmosphere. This addition of greenhouse gases have induced earth's atmosphere to warm even more quickly than it had been in the earlier times.
Note that the consequences of changes in the climate should not be construed as transformations in the global weather. Where weather offers tremendous variability, and is observed at a specific region for a particular time of the day, climate is a long-term aggregate of these everyday conventions; for example, the monthly or yearly average temperature, or precipitation of a particular region. Keeping this aspect in mind, the causes and impacts of climate change have been discussed further.
Scientists have sternly put forth their views on the key natural cause of climate change as human expansion of the greenhouse effect and global warming. This effect is a kind of warming that is caused, when the earth's atmosphere entraps the heat, that is supposed to be radiated from the earth in the direction of space. Gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, and water vapor in the atmosphere act as a glass on a greenhouse that allows the sunlight to pass through, however, blocking the heat from dodging.
On the other hand, human activities such as burning of fossil fuels have increased the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Apart from this, clearing of land for agriculture, deforestation for industrialization or urbanization, etc. are the other key causes. With increased air and water pollution levels, escaping from the deterioration of the ecological system is out of question. However, efforts are being made to enhance the use of alternative fuels and energy-efficient resources to curb their effects.
The changes in climate that we have been witnessing are hard to predict as a result of the eccentricity they hold, nevertheless, some of the most dangerous consequences the world has witnessed so far are listed below.
The gases emitted by automobiles, factories, deforestation, etc. have trapped heat that is supposed to be radiated back to space, thereby warming up the planet. Note that records may represent a rise of just a degree in the atmosphere, but even this much change is enough to warm the planet to a considerable extent. Higher temperatures have contributed to some horrifying results such as increased deaths and illnesses, and other natural impacts such as storm intensities and rise in the sea levels.
Rise in Sea Levels
As a result of a phenomenon called thermal expansion, melting glaciers have increased the level of seas due to increase in temperatures. This rise has augmented floods on low-lying areas; thus, eroding shores, damaging property, and thrashing ecology as a whole.
The changing patterns in rainfall and temperatures have forced the vegetation all around the world to shift towards the polar regions, thereby undermining all the efforts of the conservation communities. This has highly affected national parks, land trusts, and world preserves.
Impact on Wildlife
One of the deadliest impacts that the change in climate has had is upon the wildlife. Experts believe that by 2050, one-fourth of the animal species on earth will head towards extinction as a result of this perpetual global warming. Changes in temperature, weather, and vegetation are forcing animals to move towards cooler regions of the earth for survival, which is likely to affect their existence as a whole.
The results of climate transformation on agribusinesses, world infrastructure, and coral reefs have already cost the government a lot. If not acted upon, it can have some utter damaging effects on the world property, as a result of flash floods, hurricanes, and downpours. These calamities have potentially cost the government billions of dollars. Also, droughts and famines in many agricultural regions have led to decline in crop yields, thereby putting countless lives at stake.
Climate change has hit the world like anything. While the poor are the most dependent on natural resources for their sustenance, its adverse effects have made it nearly impossible for them to put up with it. Illnesses, natural calamities, and decline in crop production are few of the major consequences, which if not taken care of, can be responsible for scourging world's most susceptible biotic regions.