Key Effects of Climate Change caused by Global Warming

Fiddler Ferry Coal Power Station

What happens if climate change is left unchecked. Some of the initial consequences which we are now starting to experience.

There is now no double in the scientific community that manmade global warming which causes climate change is taking place.

  • If we humans continue business as usual over the first half of this century, human health, water and food security will all be under threat and the collapse of human civilisation due to climate change will become inevitable – Tim Flannery 2006
  • The overall biological productivity of the planet is decreasing due to climate change, which combined with the rapid human population increase means food shortage will become more common.
  • The world will be anything from 1.1 to 6.4 degrees C hotter by the end of this century, sea levels are expected to rise by 18 to 58 cm.  Destruction of low lying islands over the next 100 years will be inevitable.
  • Most of the Artic Ica cap is expected to have melted by the end of this century. The loss of Nanook – the polar bear could be the beginning of the collapse of the entire Artic ecosystem.
  • 21 of the hottest years have now taken place within the last 25 years
  • Atlantic and Pacific Hurricanes are now 50% stronger then they were in the 1970’s and becoming much more frequent. Each hurricane can cause over $1 billon of damage.
  • In the Sudan and Malawi regions of Africa 5 million people faced starvation in 2005 when crops failed and the rains never came.
  • 1400 square miles globally are lost to desert each year.
  • We are now facing a mass extinction crisis with loss of species 1000 times higher than the normal background rate. 1 in 5 species of animals and plants could be extinct by the end of this century.
  • If nothing is done to prevent global warming and there is a doubling of CO2 in the earths atmosphere, within 45 years there will no longer be any optimal parts of the oceans for corals to survive leading to mass extinction of all ocean species depending on coral reefs. Coral reefs are on the bring of collapse. The tourism industry associated with coral reefs currently generates $30 Billion of revenue each year.
  • A NASA study has shown that ice mass melting is now 150% above average levels; Antarctica is loosing land ice at a rate of 31 billion tonnes of water per year.
  • If half of the Greenland Ice mass melted and half of the East Antarctic ice mass melted as predicted then sea levels would rise by 18-20 feet globally meaning maps of the world will have to redrawn and relocation of many millions of people, towns and cities.
  • The melting of ice caps, snow capped mountains and glaciers around the world will mean major disruption of Earths climate patters and extinctions of polar species.
  • Damage from tornadoes due to increased temperatures and wild fires due to more frequent lightning are become much more common globally.
  • While one area can be hit by massive flooding like Europe in 2003, five million people in the Sudan and Malawi regions of Africa faced starvation in 2005 when crops failed and the rains never came.
  • Diseases before more common due to warmer temperatures and alien species are not killed by winter frosts leading reduced agricultural output.
  • 26,000 people died in 2003 during a Europe wide heat wave
  • For the UK, climate change caused by Global Warming means 20% more rainfall, more frequent heat waves, more severe winter storms, 60% less snow in Scotland, 30% more winter rain and 1 in 3 very dry summers. 2007 was the wettest summer on record in the UK.
  • Potential catastrophic effects of climate change; 1, Collapse of the gulf stream which has a 5-10% probability within the next century; 2, Collapse of the Amazon rainforest due to warming and loss of rainfall to the region. The world renown Hadley Centre in the UK predicts this could start to happen around 2040.
  • Climate change caused by CO2 release is increasing with population increase.  The year 1900 started with 1 Billion people on Earth, the century closed in 2000 with 6 billion people.
  • The world’s largest re-insurance company estimates that by 2050 the global insurance bill for climate change related damage could top $500 billion.
  • In the end – the environmental budget is the only one that actually counts

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