Effects of global warming
Global warming is the warming of earth’s land, water and atmosphere. Global warming has happened throughout history, but has recently become more of an issue. Every year since 2001 has made It on the warmest year record list. There Is much debate whether this Is a natural phenomenon or If the human population Is causing global warming. There Is no denying that the earth Is getting warmer. As shown In the graph to the right global temperatures have risen from -. 4 C to . 6 C over a four year period. Judging by the graphs steady rise, it’s only going to get hotter.
One hinge is certain, the effects that global warming has are life threatening to many populations (“Global Warming… “). We can already see some of the impacts that global warming is having on the earth. Studies have shown that the arctic sea ice is decreasing in size yearly. The red outline in the picture to the left shows how large the Polar Ice Cap was in 1979. The white are in the picture Is how big the Polar Ice Cap currently is, that’s a significant decrease over Just thirty five years. The thinner the Ice gets the faster it melts. Besides the shrinking, the arctic sea ice Is also forming later and later every year.
This Is directly Impacting the polar bears that depend on the ice for survival. Over a twenty four year period the average weight of female polar bears has decreased by 143 pounds. This Is due to the polar bears having less Ice to hunt on over the years. As a result the population of polar bears has declined drastically. Many polar bears are dying of starvation and some arena able to reproduce because they’re malnourished. Scientists are afraid that the polar bears are nearing extinction as conditions continue to get worse (“Global Warming… “).
Ice melting into the ocean is tot only affecting wildlife, it’s also affecting processes in the ocean. If the warming continues parts of the Greenland Ice Cap will begin to melt, sea level could rise to twenty feet or more than what it is now. Due to the quick melting of the Arctic Ice Sheet the surrounding water is becoming fresher, therefore losing some of Its salinity and Its density. By the water losing it’s density It Is not able to sink at its usual depth which helps keep the Gulf Stream on the global ocean-circulation flowing at Its normal rate.
The diagram to the right shows this process. The red dotted line shows he movement of warm salty water, and the blue dotted line shows the interruption of freshwater from the melting ice. Europe is highly dependent on the Gulf Stream; they are afraid the Gulf Stream will slow down more and more as the ice continues to melt. The global ocean-circulation, also known as the conveyor belt is a current that flows throughout the world (Jordan). Average global temperatures are expected to rise over the next century. This could pose a threat to agricultural crops.
The land would become too dry, killing many crops and forcing them to move their crops. “This would result in a loss of current replant of 10-50% and a decline in the global yield of key food crops of 10-70%. ” Warmer temperatures would allow tropical Insects to migrate to more populated areas, where they would spread disease Like wildfire. We would be exposed to Insects we’ve never encountered and our bodies may or may not be able to fight off the diseases. There would also be an increase in diseases and deaths related to heat Another effect of global warming is sea levels rising.
Studies have shown an average sea-level rise of at least one foot throughout the twentieth century Road). During expected cooling periods, water temperature is actually increases. This warm water is expanding and the polar ice caps are melting. Forecasts predict that over the next decades sea levels are going to continue to rise. It is predicted that by 2100 sea levels will have risen one meter. As seen in the diagram to the left, global warming causes a chain of events to start in marine habitats. Sea level rising decreases the salinity in the water, which interrupts natural plant growth.
The elevation of the marsh from the plant growth further floods the salinity of the water. Rise in sea level would increase the number and severity of storms and hurricanes in coastal areas. Sea level rising would flood many regions, where about a third of the world’s population lives. People would be forced to migrate and we would have an abundance of overpopulated areas. Some tropical pacific islands are already losing some of their land because of the sea level rising (“Global Warming… “). There is significant evidence that the climate change caused by global warming is affecting plant life.
In the United States, Canada and Europe the growing season for plants is longer than is was twenty five years ago. Spring begins earlier than it did and ends later than it did, this is due to changes in rainfall patterns. More rain enabled plants to start growing sooner, faster and longer. Over in Europe increased cloudiness caused the longer growing period for plants. People living there experienced warmer nights and less frosts (Morgan). Increased rainfall is affecting the weather, which directly impacts animals that are used to their routines.
In winter the snow has started becoming deeper, therefore melting slower. When robins migrate to these areas they are arriving to find that the snow still has not melted completely. The robins have to wait to build nests and eat. The marmot, a beaver like animal hibernates during the winter. The marmots have men waking from hibernation about forty days earlier than they were twenty five years ago. This can be life threatening for the marmots because the snow is still on the ground covering sources of food; the marmots face starvation (Morgan).
Scientists predict that as average global temperatures continue to rise, precipitation will decrease, causing drought. “According to some climate models, at the current rate of warming, precipitation patterns will change so that one third of the planet will be considered desert by 2100. ” This would have a tremendous impact on people all over the world. Forests and rainforest’s are expected to shrink due to Erie climates. Without as many trees, rainfall would decline even more. Drier weather would also cause an increase in wildfires.
A decrease in annual precipitation could have horrible effects on the world as we know it (Global Warming… “). Climate changes would force some animals to migrate, and would also kill off some species of animals as they would not be able to adapt. Temperature and precipitation changes could also have tremendous impacts on plant life; which directly impacts us and other animals that depend on plants. Climate changes in the past have forced us and animals to adapt. However this is a much slower process than what scientists are expecting to happen in the future.
Climate changes are expected to happen rapidly, some plants and animals won’t have enough time to It is apparent that global warming is happening on our planet. We can already see global warming affecting climate, weather, oceans and wildlife. As the temperature increases more ecosystems will be at risk. The economy will face net negative impacts. There will be a higher risk of these changes being quick and irreversible. These predictions are not necessarily certain but they are hypotheses based on scientific research (Morgan).