Global warming poses a potential threat to the future of civilizations across the world. There are numerous consequences of global warming which experts believe are likely to have a significant impact on the earth in years to come.
Although there is an on-going debate as to whether or not global warming is caused by man, the consequences explained on this page are likely to apply should the earth continue to warm. These consequences continue to be highlighted by scientists, environmental activists and organisations who demand action be taken on a much larger scale than what is currently been done in an attempt to reduce the future consequences global warming may have on the earth.
Should the theory of man-made global warming be correct then in order to reduce the effects of global warming, all countries need to work together to help and reduce greenhouse gas emissions which are a key cause of global warming.
The Main Consequences of Global Warming
The main consequences of global warming are all a direct result of an increase in global temperatures and many of these main consequences are detailed below:
- Changing Weather Patterns – Global warming has the ability to change annual weather patterns bringing more severe conditions to many countries across the globe. This consequence of global warming could include an increase in severe drought, flooding and storms which have the potential to cause significant loss of life or economic impact.
- Melting Sea Ice & Glacial Retreat – As temperatures increase, we are beginning to see an increased melting of sea ice and evidence of accelerated glacial retreat. This may not seem a cause for concern to most until you take into account how much of the world’s water supply is locked in ice. According to the USGS with data from 1993, around 1.7% of the earth’s total water supply is stored in sea ice or glaciers and this translates to over 65% of the earth’s fresh water supply. Should all sea ice and glaciers melt, there would be a global increase in sea levels which would have the potential to wipe out a number of communities in low lying areas.
Less Known Consequences of Global Warming
There are numerous less known global warming consequences and some of these are as follows:
- Wildlife – With the melting of the sea ice comes numerous consequences of wildlife that rely on the ice or the purity of the sea. Polar bears are in great danger of becoming extinct should we see a complete melt of sea ice as much of their hunting is done on the ice. A less documented consequence relates to the actual melting of sea ice and glaciers as this would release a significant quantity of “fresh water” into the sea which is “salt water”. This has the potential to disrupt sea life that relies on salt water in the surrounding areas as fresh water is released into the sea.
- Health – Rising temperatures can impact our health through an increase of heat stroke or heat related deaths. In addition, there are likely to be more deaths or injuries as a result of increased severe weather conditions such as flooding, storms and forest fires.
To prevent or reduce the future consequences of global warming there are many ways to prevent global warming. It is not only large industrial companies who need to take action to help and reduce the consequences of climate change and instead, everyone on the planet should be doing their part. There are many ways in which we can reduce the potential impacts of global warming, many of which start at home.