Global warming has been discussed countless times throughout the years. Many laws have been implemented worldwide just to urge us to do something about this problem and stop it from worsening. Various organizations were formed with the sole purpose of diminishing the effects of global warming and bring back Earth’s natural and safe temperature levels if possible.
But why is Earth’s temperature still on the rise? Does this mean all our efforts are futile? Is there really an effective way to put an end to global warming and its dreadful effects? As I see it, most of us still lack awareness of the possible horrifying events that this environmental problem can set forth. We choose to disregard this problem since majority of us are selfish enough to think that the peak of global warming’s disastrous effects will be evident past our generation.
I came up with this list of Top 10 Worst Effects of Global Warming to serve as a wakeup call. This is a global problem that requires our attention. I hope everyone who dropped by this hub will do even the simplest deed that can help save Earth from impending doom due to global warming.
10. Continuously Increasing Sea Level
Two massive ice sheets found in Greenland and Antarctica are slowly but constantly melting. This is a very alarming situation as it causes increase in sea levels worldwide. As we speak, our land is gradually sinking. Most of us disregard this threat thinking that its devastating effects will only be evident hundreds of years from now. We fail to realize that continuing our selfish deeds and disregarding this danger will only lead to future regrets. The movie entitled "Water World" will surely be a thing of reality if we don’t take any action to solve this environmental problem.
Thanks to the worldwide rising sea levels, the small country Maldives is now searching for a new territory. Can you imagine a whole country being devoured by the sea? It may be something we only sea in the movies yet such we will definitely witness such a devastating event if this problem continue to worsen.
9. Animal Extinction
By the year 2050, a recent article claimed that countless species will be endangered or extinct due to intense climate change. We are not talking about hundreds here but millions. Mankind is not safe from such kind of threat either. Surviving on our own here on earth is certainly impossible since we need other animals and plants for food. Without them, life on earth won’t be possible and the transformation of a once vigorous planet into a barren wasteland will commence.
This is not a mere prediction since it’s guaranteed to happen given we continue to neglect the need for change. In fact, this dreadful event is presently manifesting but in a slow rate. Though most species including humans can adapt to environmental change, such mechanism won’t save us from drastic ones. Nature’s power has been manifested in numerous occasions from devastating earthquakes to destructive tsunamis. Is this her way of telling us that something is really wrong? What if these events are simply warning signs of the upcoming dreadful event that can wipe out every living thing here on earth? There’s nothing certain other than the fact that change is a must in order to save not just us but Earth as a whole.
8. Coral Reef Destruction
It’s sad to know that a recent report from the World Wildlife Fund relives a scenario in 2100 where almost every coral in our oceans are lifeless. This is not only due to global warming but extensive pollution in our oceans as well. With this problem, countless more will emerge. Almost every sea creature relies on coral reefs to survive. If our waters end up lifeless species including humans who treat sea-living creatures are a part of their main diet will have to face a very hard problem. At present, millions of people across the globe are starving. What more if water food resources are crashed out in the formula?
The extinction of coral reefs can mark the start of ours so we should do something about this problem as early as now. Though a number of groups across the globe are doing their best to preserve and cultivate coral reefs, their efforts are still not enough. Do your part! You don’t need to personally install artificial coral reefs or join them in sea patrols since a simple donation will do.
7. Spreading Diseases
Insects migrate due to various reasons and one of them is drastic climate change. The introduction of new species in an ecosystem with specific members for countless generations will eventually result to chaos. Aside from that, these insects often carry plague and diseases. Many scientists believed that global warming is one of the main causes why Malaria is still terrorizing several countries today.
For those who know nothing about how devastating malaria is, here are some shocking facts. Aside from forcing insects to migrate, global warming also encourages their population to heighten. Studies show that insects that live in warm areas tend to have higher metabolic rate thus reproducing a lot faster than usual. This is probably the main reason why swarms of locusts are more common in desserts and tropical countries. Though not all insects can easily adapt on extremely warm areas, the possibility is still there. We will surely face a very big problem in the near future if any insect species can evolve and perfectly dwell in excessively warm areas while producing in an absurd rate.
6. Destructive Hurricanes and Tropical Storms
Several weather experts agree that the recent devastating hurricane called “Sandy” is an indication of global warming’s harmful effects. As of now, ocean temperatures have increased by about 0.5 degrees Celsius since 1970. This is probably the main reason why we have much intense storms nowadays. Researches claim that the power of storms is increased by more or less 30% in every 1 degree Celsius gain. Such rate of temperature rise will also result to at most 5 added storms.
Although not everyone agrees as some believe that weather can’t be simply predicted by a handful of models, the threat is always there. Whether it’s scientifically proven or not, the results are evident. The recent devastating hurricane that hit United States called Sandy, shocked everyone. It was far different from the usual as it carried extremely strong winds and massive rain. All of us are helpless against such strong force of nature. If there’s a slim chance that doing something about the worsening global warming problem would ensure that hurricanes as strong as Sandy won’t be happening in the near future, it’s definitely worth trying.
5. Increased Possibility of Drought and Heat Waves
NASA climate scientist James Hansen explained that the recent droughts and heat waves that hit the United States and other countries across the globe would not happen without global warming. Have you noticed that summer is getting hotter every year? This is a simple yet alarming sign that global temperatures are rising.
Why are heat waves so dangerous? This kind of event is manifested by an abrupt increase of temperature. Some tends to stay for days while other for months. If exposed in an extremely high temperature, even a healthy person can suffer from heat stroke and dehydration. This event can also lead to more droughts since plants and animals are also sensitive in sudden temperature change. The most alarming part is that this all happened because of our continued negligence. We all brought upon global warming so it’s our responsibility to at least minimize its effects as of now and aim for a concrete solution later on.
4. Melting Polar Caps
The steady melting of ice caps both South and North Poles is nothing but bad news. This event causes sea levels to rise. There are about 5 million cubic miles of water in glaciers, ice caps, and permanent slow. If ever they all melt, sea levels worldwide are expected to rise by at most 300 feet! Though it won’t happen in one, knowing that such catastrophic event will gradually take place should alarm us above anything else. The balance of our global ecosystem is compromised in the process. Since ice caps are fresh water, their melting can cause oceans to be less salty leading to changes in sea temperature and tides. Various species of animals are also affected as landscapes and temperature in the Arctic Circle experience change. A few can adapt but it’s expected that many will turn extinct later on.
These Ice Caps are probably our best shield against global warming. Without them, Earth could turn into a living hell. Ice caps are white so they help reflect sunlight towards outer space making them one of the most crucial entities in keeping our world cooler. With the absence, the only reflector left will be our oceans. They are naturally dark in color so it’s most likely for the sun’s heat to be absorbed rather released which heats up Earth furthermore.
3. Worldwide Crop Failures
Studies show that within 100 years 3 billion people worldwide will need to decide whether to stay and face the various negative effects of intense temperatures or search for cooler a cooler environment and suffer from intense hunger. Regardless what option we choose, it seems the outcome is the same.
Climate change is expected to affect our water supplies above anything else. As we all know, water is one of the main sources of life. Without it, the survival of any life here on Earth is impossible. Water shortage will lead to food production problem. It can also negatively affect sanitation, various ecosystems, and economic growth. Swings between floods and droughts will be drastic and tragic. Yes we can cope but not for very long. Our civilization may come up with ingenious methods to delay the impending doom but stopping it in the near future won’t be possible. This is why the present generation should be more vigilant in saving Earth from the devastating effects of climate change before it gets out of hand.
2. Forest Fires
Dry areas that are already prone to wildfires are expected to be stormed by even worst events as Earth continues to warm because of global warming. Last year, more than 3,000 forest fires are recorded in Southeast Europe alone. These events will eventually become a usual sight in the coming years if we don’t do something about the greenhouse effect.
Forest fires will not only leave countless animal species homeless but the carbon dioxide they emit can also set forth air pollution. With less trees to absorb CO2 and more are released as the by-product of burning, the greenhouse effect will surely get out of hand if we continue to disregard the situation.
The fact that these fires were not present a century ago is an indication that we did this on our own. We should be all responsible in saving Earth from these devastating fires. Our forests play a vital role in maintaining the balance of our global ecosystem so saving them should be among our main priorities.
1. The Spread of Deadly Smog
Deadly smog has been discovered in almost every part of the world which alarmed experts. They are results of the combination of ground-level ozone, vehicular fumes, stagnant hot air, and various air pollutants brought upon by numerous industries. People who reside in urban areas are more prone to their deadly effects.
Constant inhalation could worsen pre-existing health problems focused in the respiratory system or introduce new ones such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema. Our immune system will also greatly suffer because of this dreadful combination of toxic fumes.
The rise of temperature aggregates the production of deadly smog. If nothing is done, experts predict a 5% rise of smog-related deaths by 2050. We may not know it but most of us are currently exposed to a mild version of this kind of smog. Should we wait for the time where we all need to wear a mask every time just to be safe from immense air pollution before making any significant move? The solution need not to be complicated. In fact, improving our awareness and a little bit of discipline might be enough to do the trick.
Learn more about global warming and climate change
How can we help fight the Effects of Global Warming?
In order to get rid of its effects, we have to first solve global warming's root cause. It all comes down to a personal and community decision. Decide to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle and encourage your community to follow. I know it's a long shot from changing the whole world but it's a good start. Start by using less plastic and avoiding the use of products that emit greenhouse gases. It's also a good practice to decrease your carbon footprint. Plant a tree if you have time and invite your friends to come along. These may look like simple life choices and activities but they can greatly help in the long run.
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Sanxuary on August 11, 2014:
I believe this is happening much sooner then we think. Could you imagine every coastal community at threat? The consequences are unimaginable. It would be the largest migration the World has ever seen. Still I believe that a coming polar shift is another factor in all this. If our magnetic field is in decline then the poles would experience a rise in temperatures. Just as alarming is the enormous pollution problems we are seeing. I remember the 80's and thinking we were solving this problem and then it is the worst ever imagined. We are on our way to destroying the ocean and its the canary in the mine. Imagine all that waste from our cities when these places go under. Its hard to think what the World will be like in another 100 years. I do not see change happening fast enough to prevent anything. If anything I see denial and a proactive plan to prevent any good ideas from happening. Even if global warming did not exist look at this World and wonder how will it survive on its current path?
Mitch Alan from South Jersey on May 24, 2013:
Apart from the fact that global temperature are in a very small state of flux over the past 50 years and that much larger fluctuations have occurred in the past, prior to the industrial revolution, which account for ice ages and their subsequent melting...there are other problems with you "water world" scenario.
First, as there has been some melting in the Arctic, there has been an increase in the ice in Antarctica. Antarctica does not usually, even since the global warming scare, go below freezing and this causes it to grow. Antarctica's ice is primarily on land and this increase could actually lower sea levels. The arctic, on the other hand, has ice that floats on the water and therefore, even if it was to completely melt, it would not increase the level of the sea at all. This is due to a common scientific principle known as displacement.
Secondly, the sun has more of an effect on the global temperatures, as do other naturally occurring events, then does the actions of man. How many factories and SUVs were around to either cause or end previous ice ages? Using logic and facts, we can see that the climatic cycles are not dependent on man.
Isabella from Outback Queensland on January 17, 2013:
This is a beautiful hub and the message is what the world needs to know and do something about.