Global warming is the overall increase in the temperature of the earth. Just a small rise in temperature ( 2° F or 1.1°C) can have serious effects on climatic conditions and weather changes. This could affect the frequency and severity of storms, hurricanes and tornados, distort seasons duration, increase cloud cover, change precipitation level and wind pattern. Warmer sea surface temperatures will cause frequent storms and hurricanes along the Gulf coasts and southeastern Atlantic. A number of scientists have agreed that global warming is a serious problem that is growing steadily worse. Global warming is happening more quickly in some parts of the world than others. Some other effects of Global Warming that could seriously affect all living organisms are:
- Greenland ice sheet and Glaciers around the world are melting and even though it has no immediate effect, its oceans volume is increasing which ultimately will lead to rise in sea level. This rise in sea levels could cause flooding problems for low-lying coastal areas (eg. in Florida and the Gulf of Mexico) and some countries below sea level. Flooding would then causesoil erosion and the destruction of crops, soil, livestock, as well as, human and animal habitat. Waterborne diseases such as cholera would spread. Forests, farms and cities would be infested with malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
- Polar and equatorial regions might have heavier rainfall while interiors around mid-latitude would become dryer resulting periodic drought. This would lead to famine and starvation.
- There will be an increase in human health problems from air pollution and through the spread of certain diseases such as malaria. There would be a increased in heat-induced deaths (especially among the elderly), the increase in storms and floods would make food and medicine scarce and expensive, death rate would be high, and insurance premiums would rise, just to name a few of the domino effect this would have on humans.
- Water quality may be affected by an increase in algal blooms and water borne diseases. Water resources would be affected where water is not in short supply.
- The Ozone layer which is slowly becoming thin (caused by the damaged of Chlorofluorocarbons, a ozone depleting substance) would not be able to screen the earth from the deadly intensity of the Sun’s UV radiation. As a result, there would be skin cancer, cataracts, and impaired immune systems. Also, high concentrations of UV radiation would stunt the growth and leaf development of most plant specie.
- More than a million living species (plant and animal) worldwide could be driven to extinction due to the disruption of habitats such as coral reefs and other habitats on land.
- There would be an increase in the spreading and formation of acid rain from the combustion of fossil fuels due to the higher emissions of sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. As a result water would become acidic in content and this would be harmful to plants and microorganism in the ecosystem. The soil would become acidic in content and cause leaching of nutrients further down into the soil. Buildings and others things in the environment would be seriously damaged.
Labels: Physical Geography