Global warming has been with us for some time now. This means that it is not something that was discovered just last year. Through various observations and researches the causes of global warming, its negative effects and ways through which it can be reduced have all been propounded by renowned scientists. Discussions are now almost on every available media platform about global warming. Such widespread discussions and publicity of climate change has led to a careful look being taken into how these problems really came about, the observed effects in the past and how things may become in the nearest possible future.
Climate change took a dangerous turn during the much talked about industrial era which saw the bringing into existence of many manufacturing industries and other machines. These manufacturing industries and machines needed other sources of energy like fossil fuels in order for them to work. It is through the use of such fuel sources that led to the destruction of the atmosphere at a rate never witnessed before as the gases that emitted from the use of such fuel sources contained very harmful gases that wreaked various kinds of havoc on our environment. From the time that sophisticated machines were built in the mid-20th century, the number of machines has since the increased exponentially and with such an increase, the adverse effects of global warming has also gone through the roof.
Observed effects of climate change on the environment
Some of the observed effects of climate change of years gone by include;
- Shrinkage of glaciers: It has been observed for over 50 years now that glaciers are melting at a rate that is very alarming. Glaciers in the Alps and some parts of the United States have all shrunk in size due to the change in climatic conditions being experienced now.
- The depletion of animals that survived in colder conditions and an increase in the number of animals that survive in warmer conditions: This means that the number of animals like seals and polar bears that are well suited to very cold conditions is decreasing at a rate that causes eyebrows to be raised whilst the number of those better suited for the warmer conditions are increasing.
- Shrinking sea ice: It has also been observed that the warm climate conditions have resulted in the melting of large volumes of sea ice which leads to other problems like sea level rise.
- Severe droughts: The droughts that have been observed from the 1970’s up to date have been more severe than any of previously experienced.
- The other observed effects of climate change include the rise in sea level, an increase in the acidity level of the sea, accelerated thawing of permafrost, changing patterns in how it rains and snows, very severe weather conditions, the temperature of the oceans rising and a much increase in coastal erosion.
These are but just a few of the effects of climate change that have been observed for some time now and each of these effects also comes with its own effects which compounds the whole issue.
Future environmental effects of climate change
The effects of climate change on the environment seems to be only starting as very renowned scientists have been able to study the current trend of things relating to the environment and with such information they have predicted some effects of climate change on the environment if humans continue to live the care-free kind of lifestyle.
Some of these predicted future effects of climate change are;
- Increase in temperature conditions: According to research done by the International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), the average temperature has been predicted to rise between 1.1o C and 6.4oC globally by the time the year 2100 is reached.
- It has also been predicted that 25 years to come, there will be about 50% shortage in rainfall leading to severe crop failures in lot of places which is estimated to affect about five billion people.
- The volume of water in the northern countries is also estimated to increase to about 50%.
- There will also be desertification and widespread bushfires which will lead to the destruction of large portions of the remaining forests.
- The spread of malaria has also been predicted to increase drastically due to the changing climatic conditions.
- Increase in the number of people suffering from illnesses that has to do with the respiratory system of humans due to the reduction in air quality
- A lot of animal species are also predicted to become extinct if nothing is done to rectify the global warming problem.
- There has also been the idea that due to the shortage of water that will be experienced in the near future and may eve cause wars as people struggle to claim the little water that will be left.
One very heartbreaking research on the effects of global warming on the environment in the near future is that if some activities of man are not kept in check the living conditions of the Earth will be unbearable for living things by the year 2047. This really calls for very drastic measures to be taken so as to avert the impending disaster.