Before the period of industrial revolution all climate changes happened naturally. After the industrial revolution agricultural practices together with deforestation and large amount of fossil fuel combustion resulted in significant environmental changes. The natural composition of the gases found in the atmosphere started being altered significantly. Over the last 100 years scientific researchers in climate change did notice that climate temperatures are becoming warmer and warmer.
Maintaining current increase of green house gas emissions, global average air temperatures over the Earth surface by 2100 will be warmer by 4 degree Celsius. This global average temperature would greatly be above the mid-19th century temperatures. There exist many ramifications of the warming.
With the continuous and intense emission of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, it has been projected that even more warming of the globe is expected than that of the present day. If our societies keep on relying entirely on the use of fossil fuels as it is currently doing, then carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere are projected to double from pre-industrial values by about 2050. The carbon dioxide concentration is also projected to be tripled by the year 2100, thus bringing serious climate problems. If the coupling rate of carbon dioxide together with other greenhouse gases which are also highly emitted in to the atmosphere increase, then we might be expecting a rise to about 4.5 degrees celsius of global average temperatures as climate change projections have shown. But there still exist a possibility of as low as 3 degrees Celsius if there is a great and rapid shift from the use of fossil fuels and a possibility of as high as 6 degree Celsius if the use of fossil fuels keeps on doubling.
During the next few decades to come and even beyond, global warming projections indicate an increase in atmospheric moisture content. Global warming projections shows lots of extreme heat waves, little frosts, a highly remarkable decrease in the level and thickness of sea ice, an additional increase in melting rate of mountain glacier and lots of ice sheets. Global warming will also result to lots of shift in rainfalls patterns. There will be rainfall increase in most of the tropical and high latitude regions while many subtropical and mid latitude regions of the globe will experience significant decrease. The high temperature will keep on melting ice sheets and mountain glaciers thus the sea level will be on constant rise. The magnitude of global warming future expected changes depend on future gas emissions and their corresponding climate feedbacks.
Across a large number of research centres future climate change projections based on climate models broadly agree on the different patterns of global warming. The models stipulate a greater atmospheric warming over land than over the oceans with greater warming intensities at the northern latitudes than in the southern oceans and tropics. The global warming future depends on the emission partway.
Greenhouse gas emissions govern the system of climate change, and these climate changes would be of serious intensity if nothing is done on controlling these emissions of greenhouse gases before 2035.
Even if the emissions of the various greenhouse gases are brought down to nearly zero, the world would still have to leave in a warmer climate for centuries because of the already released greenhouse gases. Climate change, such as rises in sea level, releases of carbon dioxide from thawing permafrost soils, melting of ice sheets and mountain glacier will all continue for a long time. All these characteristics of the climate systems imply that the only way to stop human-induced climate change without resorting to geoengineering, is to reduce net greenhouse gases to near zero levels.
A continuous emission of greenhouse gases in to the atmosphere would yield to future global warming and long lasting changes in all the other components of the climate system. Some of these global warming changes are irreversible if not long lasting. Limiting global warming future will require substantial and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions which together with adaptation can limit climate change risks. Future global mean surface warming is determined by cumulative emissions of carbon dioxide. Greenhouse gas emission projections vary over a wide range depending on both climate policy and socioeconomic development. All anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are principally driven by population size, lifestyle, economic activities, land use patterns, energy use, climate policy and technology. Global surface temperature is projected to rise over the 21st century over assessed emission scenarios. It is obvious that heat waves will last longer and occur more often. Extreme precipitation events would become frequent and more intense in so many regions. The ocean will continue acidification and warming process, and global mean sea level will rise.
Global temperature change has become more obvious than past decades, with up to 9 years of the decade making it to the least of hottest years the planet Earth has ever witnessed since the formation of the earth.
Significant reduction in release of greenhouse gases emissions global atmospheric temperature will not exceed 2 degrees Celsius thus preventing other negative impacts associated with temperature rise. It is important to raise awareness on the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions.
Areas of the world that may disappear due to climate change
Cities: there exist a number of cities suffering from effects of climate change. These cities could possibly get extinct someday. Some of these cities are;
- Miami, Florid, United States
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Indonesia and Bangladesh coastal cities
- Newtok, Alaska, United states
Islands: nevertheless there are also alarming climate change effects on islands like the sovereign pacific islands.
Forests: Even though scientist have predicted a serious increase in precipitation due to changes in climate. It still would not be sufficient to keep up with increased evaporation coming from the rising summer temperatures. It is clear that this would eventually lead to decreased soil moisture which in turn causes more drought resistance trees to eventually displace the existing forest ecosystem. Warmer temperatures still to come are expected to expand all the ranges and take care of the survival rates of forests pests like the spruce budworm and even the mountain pine beetle. Actions of the mountain pine beetle are normally controlled by the intense cold in winter but warmer winters have also lead to an increase in their actions in the British Columbia’s interior forests.
Biomes: Climate change brings about changes in temperature together with changes on the amount of sunlight and water in an area. High temperatures can bring about a desert like biome, while moderate temperatures and rainfall bring about a tropical biome.
Some effects of global temperature change
Effects on animal, plants and human health
Human health is highly impacted by the penetration of solar UV-B radiations, with potential risk of eye diseases, infectious diseases and skin cancer. There exists species which have been hit very hard and are running a risk of extinction together with those which are already extinct:
Orange spotted filefish: Scientifically known as Oxymonacanthus longirostris, duels in the coral reef habitats being totally dependent. They are seriously declining in number due to climate change. The orange spotted filefish is highly sensitive to warm water. In 1988, the animal eventually went extinct in Japan due to an episode of warmer ocean temperatures.
Polar bear: The polar bear being a large predator has a well-known story. During the summer, the Arctic sea ice on which the animals do their hunting is actually disappearing in a gradual manner. We observe the later formation of ice in the fall and its early disappearance during the spring. It is observed that the food chain of the polar bears is being disrupted due to climate change leading to the retreat of the arctic ice pushing them to exploit alternative sources of food such as on land. Some hungry polar bears have turned to eat goose eggs.
Adelie penguin: Being Antarctic birds, they mostly live on very tiny crustaceans called krill as food. All krill do live on the undersides of any suitable ice sheets where they all search for shelter and find algae as food. Since the Antarctic sea ice is retreating gradually, this leads to the fall in the population of krill and as a result the Adelie penguin experiences food shortages. Some of the penguins even have to migrate further to find food. Scientific studies have shown that when penguins move further in search of food there loose much energy; this makes them less successful in breeding.
North Atlantic cod: Historically it is observed that overfishing has caused a great number of this fish to plunge, even though its population usually bounces back. But since the crashing of 1990s, the populations have not yet recovered for the case of the north-eastern coast of North America. This is due to the changing climates bringing a change in the ocean currents as well as the influx of the cold arctic waters.
Golden toad: The golden toad scientifically known as Bufo periglenes is actually amongst the recent species whose extinction has eventually been attributed to climate change according to Portner and Scholes.
Effects on the terrestrial plants
Increased radiations in the forest and green lands do bring changes to the different species compositions thus alternating biodiversity in lots of ecosystems. It could affect the plant indirectly thereby bringing a change in plant form and sometimes its metabolism. An example could be observed on the Quiver tree scientifically known as Aloe dichotoma which has been affected greatly by climate change and it is running a risk of extinction.
Effects on the aquatic ecosystem
When tropics and subtropics are highly exposed to intense solar radiations, the distribution of phytoplankton which forms the base of the aquatic food web is affected. Change in climates might possibly cause damage to the early development stages of fish, amphibians, shrimp and crab. With the highest effect being the decrease in productivity level of these aquatic organisms.
Effects on the air quality
An increase in the penetration of UV-B radiations and a reduction of the stratospheric ozone results to higher photo dissociation rates of all the key trace gases that control the atmosphere’s chemical reactivity. This leads to further destruction of ozone and related oxidants like hydrogen peroxide, which are well known to have adverse effect on human health.
Remedies for global temperature change
Recycling can greatly reduce the amounts of pollutants entering the atmosphere thus a way of lessening global climate change. Most industries use trees which help reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide as their raw material and if recycling is used, the cutting down of these trees would reduce. Let buy products with minimal packaging so as to reduce the amount of waste disposal in the environment which sometimes lead to pollution and increase in ozone destruction. In other to fight climate change let each and every one see on starting a recycling process. This can be done collectively in public places like school, work environments, communities or individually.
Reduce fossil fuel oil dependence
Serious harm is caused to the environment due to the world’s dependence on fossil fuel oil usage which sends out carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. This carbon dioxide being a greenhouse gas destroys the ozone layer which protects the earth from hash solar radiations. Once the ozone layer is destroyed, hash solar radiations like UV-B reach the earth bringing infectious diseases, skin cancer and eye problems. Once the ozone layer is destroyed, follows increasing global temperatures.
Planting of trees
Planting tress being one of the least cost method of reducing global climate change if an effective method. For trees during their photosynthetic processes need carbon dioxide which they absorb from the atmosphere thereby reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. Planting so many trees would therefore help reduce the destruction rate of the ozone layer, thus reducing global temperature changes.