What is Climate Change? 10 Worst Climate Change Effects


What is Climate Change?

Climate change is referred to as long-term alterations in temperature and weather patterns. It can be due to natural factors, such as the sun’s activity changes or large volcanic eruptions. But since the 1800s, human activities have been the significant drivers behind climate change, mainly due to fossil fuels burning, such as coal, gas, and oil. When fossil fuels are burnt, they emit greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide and methane, that form a blanket around the Earth’s surface, which results in the sun’s heat getting trapped inside the Earth’s atmosphere, ultimately increasing surface temperature. Furthermore, the temperature increase is just the beginning of the climate change story because there are many other diverse and widespread impacts due to interconnected components of the overall ecosystem. The consequences of climate change are pretty obvious these days, putting our ecosystem in danger. In this guide, you will know what climate change is and what are its biggest negative consequences.

What Are the Consequences of Climate Change?

  • Droughts

    Due to overall temperature increase worldwide, wet areas are experiencing more rainfalls and dry areas are becoming drier and drier, leading to longer-lasting droughts in dry regions. Drought refers to an unusual and temporary water deficit due to lesser precipitation and more evaporation rate; all caused due to high temperatures. Climate change will not only impact the local population, but will also create global impacts in the form of famine, food shortage, and malnutrition among people.
  • Flooding

    When there is an increase in precipitation and rainfall over an extended period, it can lead to flooding. It results in affecting millions of people and incurring massive economic losses. According to experts, it has been projected that there will be more common and intense rainstorms due to higher temperatures in the coming years, leading to flash floods.
  • Global Warming

    Global warming is one of the significant adverse impacts of climate change for which humans are primarily responsible. The release of greenhouse gases from different sectors, including agriculture, forestry, industry, etc, is causing to heat the world faster. There has been an increase of 1.1°C in the Earth’s surface average temperature compared to that in the late 1800s.
  • Health Risks

    Climate change results in more air pollution, extreme weather conditions, population displacement, increased hunger, and poor nutrition. All these negative impacts cause the eruption of various diseases among humans due to unhygienic practices and mental pressure. Some severe conditions, such as droughts, flooding, etc., also lead to human deaths due to impacted healthcare systems of a particular area.
  • Lack of Fresh

    WaterRainfall patterns are subjected to change with enhanced evaporation rate, increased glaciers melting, and rising sea levels due to heated-up climatic conditions. Increased water temperature and severe droughts compromise water quality. Water surfaces can also experience bacterial and algal growth due to the mixing of sewage water. It will ultimately cause water scarcity, resulting in a shortage of fresh water for human use.
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  • Land Shortage

    Climate change is causing the sea levels to rise due to rapidly melting glaciers, leading to the disappearance of surrounding low-lying areas. It results in people losing their homes and relocating to new locations in the form of mass immigration.
  • Soil Degradation

    Soil acts as a reservoir for carbon storage, and this storage capability is reduced due to increasing carbon dioxide concentrations, higher temperatures, and changing precipitation patterns. All these things and deforestation activities collectively contribute towards soil erosion, decreasing the amount of organic matter in the soil. When there are no trees in place to hold the soil, saltwater coming from oceans and seas due to rapidly melting glaciers and rising sea levels deteriorates the soil.
  • Species Extinction

    The environmental conditions on Earth get altered, due to which the living conditions for several species get impacted, putting them at risk. Several species are on the verge of extinction, including Adelie penguins, Ringed seals, Sea turtles, and many more.
  • Strong Heatwaves

    A continuous increase in carbon emissions worldwide results in severe heatwaves. This thing is putting the entire globe’s population in danger, with almost 48% of individuals at risk of overheating and perishing due to terrible surrounding conditions, especially the elderly and infants. Increased temperature can also enhance the mortality rate, reduce productivity, and damage the infrastructure.
    On a larger scale, there can be a shift in the geographical distribution of different climatic zones, altering the presence of animal and plant species due to pollution and habitat loss in particular regions. It will result in changes in behaviours and lifecycles of animal and plant species, leading to an enhanced number of pests and invasive species and a higher incidence rate of human diseases. Ultimately, it will cause a decrease in ecosystem capacity to provide the required yield of food crops.
  • Stronger Hurricanes

    Hurricanes are usually formed over warm areas of the ocean, which are located along the equatorial line. When the ocean water gets warmer, the hurricane storms become more intense, resulting in more significant destruction and disasters. According to an estimate, the ocean temperature has increased by -17.2 to -16.11°C over the last 50 years.

Wrapping Up

Based on the UN (United Nations) reports and scientists’ observations, limiting the global temperature rise to no more than 1.5°C is suggested to avoid the worst climate consequences and maintain a safe surrounding climate. We need to realise our responsibility towards the environment by using renewable resources and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels generated energy.

It can be done if all the countries implement the guidelines provided under the Paris Agreement, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With proper implementation and regular follow-ups, we can reduce emissions to reduce the climate change impacts. It will protect people, businesses, homes, infrastructures, and natural ecosystems from the negative impacts of climate change.

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