Why People Should Be Concerned About Global Warming and Climate Change
Global warming refers to the abnormal rapid rise of the earth’s mean surface temperature over the past centuries, which in turn, causes a climate change. Conversely, a climate change refers to alterations of attributes that define climate including precipitation, humidity, and seasonal temperature (Philander 16). According to Acton (86), the global mean temperatures have increased since the onset of the industrial revolution with the rate of increases accelerating over the past few decades. Furthermore, most of the increase in global temperature is a result of human economic activities, particularly burning of fossils and deforestation. Consequently, these activities have contributed to an increase of carbon dioxide (Co2) and other gases in the atmosphere which usually cause global warming. The latter has already damaged and negatively affected societies, public health and climate. Unless immediate measures are taken to decrease global warming emissions, its effects will amplify becoming more costly and damaging and severely impact the entire planet.
First, global warming will result in climate change. According to Philander (17), though the effect of increased surface temperature is adverse, global warming will have other, more devastating impacts on environment. Warming alters precipitation patterns, intensifies coastal erosion, melts ice caps and glaciers, and lengthens plant growing seasons in some regions. Thereby, global warming will result in alteration of weather and major climatic patterns. For instance, there will be more regular hot days and fewer cool ones. As the greatest increase of surface temperature spread around, more extreme heat waves would become regular. Similarly, as rainfall patterns change storms, floods and drought will more likely intensify. Consequently, hurricanes may be more severe due to warmer ocean temperatures. Philander (19) indicates that besides driving the temperatures up, global warming possibly may lead to bigger and more damaging storms resulting in a general increase in rainfall. With some exemptions, the tropics will possibly receive less precipitation while the Polar Regions will have more rainfalls.
Second, global warming will impact the ecosystem by putting pressure on flora and fauna that co-exist in certain climate either on land or in the sea. Essentially, the warmer temperatures have already altered the plant-growing seasons in various parts of the world. For instance, in the Northern Hemisphere, the growing season became two weeks longer in the second half of the 20th century (Philander 18). Furthermore, spring comes earlier in both Northern and Southern hemispheres. Likewise, modification in the growing season affects the broader ecosystem. Thereby, migrating animals are forced to start searching food earlier, and the adjustment to “new” seasons may change the lifecycles of pollinators such as bees to be out of harmonization with flowering plants and trees. This variance can bound the reproduction and survival ability of both the pollinators and plants, which in turn, may minimize food availability due to the food chain.
Third, global warming will negatively affect people’s lives. Weather changes and the ecosystem will influence people living in low-lying coastal areas and citizens of less developed countries who lack resources to mitigate an extreme temperature rise and water resources deficit. As the temperature in the tropics increases, some infectious diseases including malaria may spread geographically. Similarly, more severe precipitation, hurricanes, and increasing sea levels will result in serious flooding, property loss, and numerous fatal accidents. Hot summers with frequent fires will result in more incidents of heat, stroke, and human death. Likewise, increased droughts will lead to malnutrition. Moreover, fresh water will soon become scarce due to mountain glaciers disappearance, especially in Asia and some parts of North America.
To conclude, global warming will result in modification of rainfall patterns and increase of coastal erosions. Likewise, a rise of surface temperature may lead to changes of weather and climatic patterns, which consequently, will cause a shift of growing seasons. Then, alterations of growing seasons will impact both flora and fauna considering survival and reproduction mechanisms of various organisms. Besides, global warming and climate change will directly affect people’s lives. For instance, a sea-level rise caused by increased precipitation will lead to more severe storms and rapid beach erosions posing a greater risk to people living along the coast. Therefore, considering the imminent impact of global warming and climate change of our earthly habitation, human beings should significantly reduce those activities that can aggravate the problem. Furthermore, people should address the issue publicly and reflect on the primary causes of the environmental and social problems such as human ignorance, greed, and poverty. Regarding climatic patterns and predictions, particular measures should be implemented through efficient policy-making and legal framework.
Acton, Q, Ashton. Advances in Climate Change and Global Warming Research and Application: 2013 Edition. Atlanta, U.S: ScholarlyEditions, 2013.
Philander, S, George. Encyclopedia of Global Warming and Climate Change, (2nd ed.). Carlifonia, U.S: SAGE, 2012.