List of Effects of Climate Change on Environment
As per the scientific projections the average temperature of earth could rise by 3 to 10 oC by the end of the century if the present CO2 emissions level continues.
This is an estimate about the average rise in the global temperature. In reality, due to the climate change the temperature of some areas will rise much more than the other parts of the world. Some areas may even become cooler. Extreme weather events such as violent storms, intense heat waves, flooding and drought are predicted to occur more due to changing climate.
The climate change will affect the natural ecosystems such as water sources, plants and animals biodiversity. This will change the availability of these resources. It is natural that the communities that depend on these resources for livelihood will face the most adverse impacts of it.
The plants and animal habitations are specific to the climatic conditions such as temperature and rainfall patterns of the area. It is natural that the changes in the climatic conditions will lead to the movement of the plant and animal species to the new suitable locations.
In fact the movement of terrestrial, freshwater and marine species to new locations have already been observed from the last many decades. The continued rise in temperature may increase the risk of extinction of some of the plants and animal species.
The changes in the life cycle of the species are also being observed. For example the changes are observed in the hibernation and migration times in the species. Many plants are reportedly growing and blooming in the early spring and survive longer into the fall.
You can also check out : Total carbon emission and sector responsible
Given below is the list of effects of climate change on sea level rise, agriculture & food security, water and human health
Effects of Climate Change on Sea Level Rise
- The global sea level has risen about 19 cm since 1901 to 2010. Two main reasons behind the rising sea level are the warming of the upper surface of the ocean which is typically 700 m deep and the melting of sea ice. It is projected that sea level will continue to rise throughout 21st century and beyond.
- The most adverse impacts of rising sea level will be faced by coastal population and the people living in low lying areas. They will be facing stronger storms, frequent submerging, flooding and erosion in the future. Rising sea level is a threat to their homes and businesses. It is expected that a large population across the globe will have to shift.
- Marine ecosystems will be affected severely due to enhanced ocean acidification. The impact is already visible on polar ecosystems and coral reefs. From the smallest phytoplankton’s to the bigger animals all will face consequences. Changes will be apparent in their population, physiology and behavior.
You can also check out : Major Causes of Global warming
Effects of Climate Change on Water
- One of the most serious impacts of climate change will be on fresh water resources around the world. It is projected that climate change will reduce the availability of surface water and ground water significantly in most dry subtropical region. This will intensify the competition for water among communities.
- Water is intimately linked with all the other resources and ecosystems. The unavailability of adequate water will eventually affect food supply, health and industry.
Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture and Food Security
- In tropical and temperate regions, a temperature rise of 2 oC or more above the late 20th century levels will affect the production of major crops such as wheat, rise and maize.
- The struggle for water for irrigation will also affect crop production.
- It is predicted that with the changing rainfall pattern distribution of weeds and pests will also change. These notorious agents will also move to new areas suitable for their growth.
- The irregular rainfall pattern, stronger storms and more frequent floods will cause damage to the crops.
You can also check out : Causes of climate change
Effect of Climate Change on Human Health
- Due to climate change people will suffer from severe heat related shocks.
- In a cooler climate many disease carrying vectors such as insects, animals and microbes do not survive. But as the temperature of such places will increase the prevalence of disease causing vectors will also increase. For example a rise in the malaria occurrences is predicted. The malaria carrying mosquitoes were limited to the tropics but in the changed climatic situations they may find it suitable to breed in new areas too cold to support them now.
- The most vulnerable communities and the most vulnerable people among the communities such as children, women, poor, old and disabled will be the most affected.
- It is also predicted that in the warmer world certain illnesses such as those caused by extreme cold such as hypothermia and frostbite may decrease with the rising average temperature.