Climate change is an alteration in the regional and global climate patterns that have remained constant for centuries. The main reason for climate change is increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to the unlimited usage of fossil fuels. In the last 150 years, we have altered the balance of the world by exploiting its resources beyond limits.
We have cut down an endless number of trees and burnt excessive amounts of coal, gas and other fossil fuels. Climate change is nothing but the outcome of human’s irresponsible, selfish deeds. Let us learn about the greatest effects of change in climate on our environment:
- How are forests affected?
Forests soak up the main greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, the one that causes global warming. They are also the abode of endless animal and plant species. Due to massive deforestation in the past 100 years, the overall temperature of the earth has risen. We need more and more trees to absorb carbon dioxide if we want to reduce the effects of climate change.
- How is fresh water affected?
We cannot ignore the impacts of climate change on the water systems of the world. Lakes and rivers supply potable water. The world’s freshwater resources are under immense pressure from damming, extraction, drainage, pollution and silting. Climate change is making the situation worse. Melting glaciers in the mountains are also disturbing the freshwater ecosystems.
- How are oceans affected?
Oceans are ‘carbon sinks’ that absorb great amounts of carbon dioxide, stopping it from affecting the upper atmosphere. This is one of the damaging effects of climate change. But, increased temperature of ocean water and the higher concentration of carbon dioxides than normal are making oceans extremely acidic. Sensitive algae and coral are dying and so are the fish.
- How are wild animals affected?
Change in climate is the biggest cause of extinction of thousands of species. The Himalayan regions have already become three times warmer, making it difficult for snow leopards to adapt to the changing climate. In Africa, alterations in rainfall can bring either excessive rain or drought, both of which are going to make survival a struggle for the African elephants.
- How is the polar region affected?
The Polar Regions have a great role to play in regulating the overall climate of the earth. Temperature is rapidly rising in the Polar Regions due to climate change. If the ice in the Polar Regions starts to melt, the majority of the world will be under water.
- How is agriculture affected?
Climate change has serious effects on agriculture all over the world. Every plant requires a certain amount of rainfall, temperature, water, and sunlight to grow. Changes in climate stunt the growth of plants by depriving them of what they need to survive.
These were some serious impacts of climate change on the environment, its people, its resources and its creatures. There are several other damages caused by climate change. In short, the entire balance of the earth is about to disrupt. If we fail to do anything to prevent it, the destruction of the world is close.