Climate Change and Its Effects - GeeksforGeeks (2023)

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    "Climate Change" is a very important topic of discussion in today's world. Global climate change is a very serious problem that needs to be addressed. In this article, we are going to discuss climate change and its impact on life. This topic is highly sought after in competitive exams and should be read and reviewed regularly by students.

    About Climate Change:

    • Climate change includes bothglobal warmingcaused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and monitoring of llarge-scale changes in weather patterns.
    • Since the mid-20th century, there have been periods of climate change in the past, but humans are having an unprecedented impact on Earth's climate system, causing changes on a global scale.
    • Climate changeIt is the cyclical change in the Earth's climate caused by changes in the atmosphere and the interaction of the atmosphere with various other geological, chemical, biological, and geographic factors in the Earth system.
    • Climate change may make it difficult to understandweather patterns. These unpredictable weather patterns can make it difficult to protect and grow crops, leaving agriculture-dependent countries like India vulnerable.
    • It also causes more frequent and severe adverse weather events such as hurricanes, floods, cyclones and inundations. Rising temperatures due to climate change are causing polar ice to melt faster and sea levels to rise. This increases flooding and erosion and damages the coastline.
    • The current rapid climate change is caused by human activities and threatens the survival of humanity.
    • The most significant contributor to global warming is greenhouse gas emissions,more than 90% of which is carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane.
    • The burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) for energy use is the main reason for these emissions, and also due to agriculture, deforestation and manufacturing.
    • The temperature rise is accelerated or moderated by climate feedback. Through the loss of snow and ice cover that reflects sunlight, increases in water vapor (itself a greenhouse gas), and changes in land and ocean carbon sinks. Ground warming is about twice the global average, leading to increased desertification, heat waves, and wildfires.
    • Temperature increases are also amplifying in the Arctic, melting permafrost, retreating glaciers and losing sea ice. Warmer temperatures increase evaporation rates, leading to more intense storms and extreme weather events.
    • Ecosystem impacts include the resettlement or extinction of many species due to environmental changes. The most direct are coral reefs, mountains and the Arctic.
    • Climate change exposes people to threats such as food insecurity, water scarcity, flooding, infectious diseases, extreme heat, economic loss, and displacement.
    • These anthropogenic impacts have led the World Health Organization to identify climate change as the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century.
    • Even if efforts to minimize future warming are successful, impacts such as sea level rise, ocean warming, and ocean acidification will persist for centuries.

    Impact of climate change:

    1.Air temperature rise:

    • Greenhouse gases emitted by human activities increase the Earth's temperature.
    • Rising temperatures are currently the leading cause of increased heat-related deaths and illnesses, rising sea levels, and the increasing severity of natural disasters.
    • During the 20th century, the average global temperature increased 1°F. This is believed to be the fastest increase in the last 1,000 years. Studies predict that average surface temperatures could rise by 3-5°F by the end of this century if we don't reduce greenhouse gases.

    2.Change of scenery:

    • As a result of rising temperatures around the world and changes in climate and weather patterns, trees and plants have migrated toward the poles and mountains.
    • As vegetation adapts to climate change by moving to cooler regions, the animals that depend on it are forced to follow in order to survive. Some survive, but many die.
    • Other species that depend on cold terrain, such as the polar bear, are threatened by melting ice and habitat loss. Today's rapidly changing landscape therefore poses significant risks to the survival of many species, including humans.

    3. Risk to the ecosystem:

    • As temperatures rise around the world, weather and vegetation patterns change, causing species to migrate to cooler regions to survive.
    • This endangers the survival of many species. It is projected that a quarter of the world's species could become extinct by 2050 if current trends continue.

    4.Rising sea levels:

    • As the Earth warms, thermal expansion causes sea level to rise (warm water takes up more surface area than cold water).
    • Melting glaciers contribute to this problem.
    • Populations in the regions, islands and coasts below are threatened by rising sea levels.
    • It erodes shorelines, damages property, and destroys ecosystems like mangroves and wetlands that protect shorelines from storm surges.
    • Sea levels have risen between 4 and 8 inches in the last 100 years and will continue to rise between 4 and 36 inches in the next 100 years.

    4.ocean acidification:

    • The increase in atmospheric CO2concentration increased CO uptake2in the ocean. This makes the ocean acidic.
    • Increased ocean acidification is detrimental to many marine organisms, including plankton and molluscs.
    • Corals are particularly vulnerable to this, as they struggle to build and maintain the skeletal structures necessary to survive.

    5.Increased frequency of disasters:

    • Due to the high temperatures, moisture from the earth and water evaporates quickly. It causes drought. Drought-affected areas are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of flooding.
    • Given the current situation, it is likely that droughts will become more frequent and severe. This can have detrimental effects on agriculture, water security and health.
    • Countries in Asia and Africa are already experiencing this phenomenon as droughts become longer and more intense. Rising temperatures not only cause droughts, but also increase the incidence of wildfires around the world.
    • Climate change is also causing an increase and intensification of cyclones and tropical storms, with devastating impacts on human societies and the environment.
    • The reason for this is the increase in ocean temperatures, which affects the energy of hurricanes and tropical storms.
    • Other factors driving the increase in hurricanes and tropical storms are rising sea levels, loss of wetlands, and increased coastal development.

    6.Health problems:

    • High temperatures around the world can cause health risks and death. More people are dying around the world due to the increase in heat waves caused by climate change.
    • For example, the 2003 extreme heat wave killed more than 20,000 people in Europe and more than 1,500 in India.
    • Climate change amplifies the spread of infectious diseases because prolonged warm weather allows disease-carrying insects, animals, and microbes to survive longer.
    • Diseases and pests once confined to the tropics can now live in cold climates that were previously difficult to live in.
    • Now, the death toll from heat waves, natural disasters, and disease due to climate change is on the rise.

    7.Economic impact:

    • It is estimated that climate change could cost around 5-20% of global GDP annually if steps are not taken to address carbon dioxide emissions.
    • In contrast, the cost of mitigating the most damaging impacts of climate change is only 1% of GDP.
    • Climate change may alter coastal habitats. This could result in the need to relocate ports and offshore infrastructure and habitats, costing millions of dollars.
    • An increase in hurricanes and other related natural disasters can lead to extreme economic losses from property and infrastructure damage. Reduced yields due to prolonged drought and high temperatures could lead to famine for thousands of people.
    • Coral reefs generate approximately $375 billion in goods and services each year. His survival is now threatened.

    8.Impact on agriculture:

    • Plant growth depends on sunlight, good temperature and rainfall.
    • Therefore, agriculture has always depended on weather patterns. current climate change
    • It has impacted agricultural productivity, food supply and food security.
    • These effects are biophysical, ecological and economic in nature.
    • Climate and agricultural areas move towards the poles
    • Higher temperatures are changing agricultural production patterns
    • Increased atmospheric CO2 has improved agricultural productivity.

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