The Effects of Global Warming: The Future of the Planet

Fagjun | Published 2017-05-15 20:09

Climate change is real, no matter what the politics on the matter say. The effects of global warming are everywhere around us, and we're all seeing the changes that rising global temperatures bring. Winters are a little warmer, rain comes when we don't expect it, summers are hotter than ever—basically, temperatures and weather patterns are changing.

However, scientists predict that the effects of climate change and global warming can get progressively worse. Things are undoubtedly changing, and global warming may have quite an effect on the future of the planet. Here are three of the biggest effects of global warming that we can expect in the future.

Rising Sea Levels

Photo by Jasper Van Der Meij

Ever thought of how your children or grandchildren will deal with climate change? For one thing, they'll probably live further inland. Why? Because, according to scientists, sea levels could rise five to six feet by the year 2100. If or when this happens, countries around the world could be looking at losing large areas of land. It's either that or spend massive amounts of money to keep the sea at bay.

If global warming continues unchecked at this pace, a five- to six foot rise in sea levels may become a reality. However, reducing our fossil fuel emissions may curb this trend.

Severe Weather

Photo by NASA

There's a chain of causality from rising global temperatures to severe weather. One of the effects of global warming is melting sea ice and glaciers. Melting ice causes unprecedented heat exchanges between the oceans and the atmosphere. Rising temperatures will make oceans warmer, and warmer ocean surfaces will produce the energy that give rise to massive weather events. This can cause huge storms and hurricanes that can in turn cause loss of life and property.

Other effects can be unpredictable. While we can easily deduce that melting ice will make ocean levels rise, we can't necessarily predict other effects. For example, scientists recently found out that sea ice loss in the Arctic caused the so-called “Airpocalypse” in China.

Disappearance of Animal Species

Photo by Andy Brunner

Speaking of the Arctic—what will the Arctic be without polar bears? Even the icy continent's very name is a reference to bears. However, polar bear populations in the Arctic are fast diminishing, and the animals are growing skinnier as well. The organization Polar Bears International predicts that two-thirds of the polar bear population will disappear by 2050.

Polar bears depend on sea ice to catch prey. However, with sea ice in decline, the Arctic predators are struggling. As ecosystems around the world change due to the effects of global warming, many other species may also struggle to survive.

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