Global warming is one of the most sensitive issues that men are currently facing today. The gradual destruction that is happening in our world is actually linked to the effects of this environmental problem. But what is global warming? Global warming is defined as the significant increase in the average temperature of the earth’s surface air and oceans. Scientists and environmental experts have already concluded that an additional of 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit is expected to happen in the 21st century once we fail to decrease the emissions from burning fossil fuels as well as coal and oil. Because of our lack of action and drive to solve this matter, severe and negative effects on the earth’s climate pattern as well as in all living things are already being experienced. So what are the consequences of global warming?
There are actually a lot of things that can be affected by the consequences of global warming. Below are four areas that are majorly influenced by the effects of this unfortunate environmental condition.
CLIMATE AND WEATHER PATTERN
• The increase in temperature has resulted to the increase number of reported wild fires all over the world. This has caused 10 million acres of burned forests and grasslands, which is approximately 25 % higher than the average number of the decade.
• The frequency of number 4 and 5 categories of storms have also increased over the past three decades.
• The Atlantic hurricane season that took place in the year 2005 was considered the most active Atlantic hurricane season in history. This set a record of 27 named storms wherein 15 of these turned into hurricanes. 7 of the 15 turned into major storms while 5 were categorized under category 4 and the rest were recorded under the strength of category 5.
• In line with the aforementioned Atlantic Storms of 2005, Hurricane Katrina was considered the most devastating and deadliest hurricane in US history.
• Droughts also became rampant all over the world. With the increased heat and temperature, water evaporation is significantly more pronounced that precipitation. This has also led to the occurrence of wildfires.
• Because of these massive destructions caused by wildfires, the firefighting expenditures have already summed up to a billion dollars per year.
• Severe heat waves have already claimed the lives of more than 200 people in North America on July of 2006.
• In the year 2003, approximately 70,000 lives in Europe were lost due to the effects of extreme heat. In France alone, roughly 15,000 people died in 2 weeks of increased temperatures that has reached a whopping 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
• 1995 has also been a bad year for Chicago residents since it has caused 739 heat-related deaths in just a short period of 1 week.
• Aside from heat strokes, problems in the respiratory system have also increased due to the severity of the temperature as well as the increase of smog pollution in many different places. This has caused the increase in the number of asthma cases as well as the increase in reports of allergies. The intense heat can also worsen the air quality causing problems in more than 100 million people.
• In addition to these, diesel exhaust particles can also interact with the pollen and cause severe problems in the lungs.
• In the year 2005, many polar bears wear seen dead due to drowning. This is normally an unusual cause of death for polar bears since they are capable of swimming; however, due to the fast melting ice caps, polar bears already have longer distances to swim from one place to another, which has resulted to fatigue and eventually caused their drowning. This is the reason why polar bears are already being considered for inclusion under the Endangered Species Act.
• Ecosystems are increasingly disrupted due to the increased global temperatures, which aids in the extinction of many species that are having difficulty to adapt with the temperature. Studies have already predicted that at least a million species will be extinct by the year 2050 if the same pattern continues.
• After existing for millions of years, a large portion of the Larsen B ice shelf located in Antarctica, which is larger than the state of Rhode Island, has collapsed in between January and March of the year 2002. This disintegration rate is something that is considered alarming by most scientists. It has been said that the ice shelf’s area has gradually decreased in size by almost 40 percent starting only from the year 1995.
• According to NASA reports, the polar ice caps have already melted at an alarming rate of 9 percent in just a decade. The thickness of the arctic ice has already decreased 40% since the year 1960s.
• Over the past 30 years, more than a million square miles of perennial sea ice have already disappeared, which is similar to the size of Norway, Sweden and Denmark combined.
These are just some of the major consequences of global warming in our environment as well as in our health. This critical issue will never be solved not unless proper and immediate action will be started in order to prevent further destruction in our surrounding.