Climate change is a long-term alteration in the statistical distribution of weather pattern over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. The world is currently experiencing drastic change in temperature. This change can be felt in the tropical climate areas where the weather is getting hotter and hotter every day. The change in global temperatures and precipitation over time is due to natural variability or to human activity. It is also caused by accumulation of greenhouse effects (Arrhenius, 1896). Should we as humans let this problem worsen?
Climate change will affect everything including humans, flora and fauna, and the environment. One of the effects of climate change is how it will affect the people. Climate change will have a huge impact on the people’s health. The health of the people will be affected mostly by air pollution and respiratory problems will have the greatest risk of health effects. Increases in moulds and pollens due to warmer temperatures could also cause respiratory problems such as asthma for some people. Should the effects of climate change get any worse than what it is now, people around the world will have to face some serious problems.
Food security will be affected and thus diseases can easily get transmitted. Food or waterborne diseases are acquired through eating or drinking. For example, Hepatitis A is a viral disease that interferes with the functioning of the liver. It can be spread through consumption of food or water contaminated by fecal matter (CIA World Factbook, 2011). Apart from being infected with Hepatitis A, people around the world can potentially get infected with Hepatitis E, bacterial diarrhoea, and Typhoid fever.
Climate change will also have an impact on the financial state of the people. Firstly, climate change will affect the agricultural and food production (IPPC, 2007). Moderate climate change will likely increase the yields of North American rain fed agriculture. Food production is projected to benefit from a warmer climate, but there probably will be strong regional effects, with some areas in North America suffering significant loss. Other than that, the U. S. Great Plains or Canadian Prairies are expected to be particularly vulnerable.
Crops that are currently near climate threshold for example, wine grapes in California are likely to suffer decreases in yields and quality. However, climate change is expected to improve growing conditions for some corps that are limited by length of growing season and temperature. For instance, the fruit production in the Great Lakes region and eastern Canada will have this fortunate effect. If the climate change problem still persists in the future, all means of transportation will be disrupted. Natural disasters resulting from climate change will disrupt all forms of transport.
Natural disasters ranging from heavy downpours, storm surges, sea-level rises to hurricanes can put the transportation industry activities to a complete stop. Airports, roads, rail lines, tunnels and other mediums of transport could suffer severe damage if these natural disasters happen. The transport industry will suffer a major loss financially if these problems should extend to maximum degree. Besides the transport industry, the insurance industry would also suffer financial loss. If one of those natural disasters should occur, the insurance company will have to cover most of the catastrophe losses.
Climate change has the potential to affect all insurance categories (Brauner, 2007). In an attempt to reduce financial loss from the aftermath of the natural disasters, insurance companies will have to take important steps for considering climate change in insurance policy which are identifying the risk, analysing the risk, mitigating the risk, and transferring the risk. Not only the transport and insurance industry will have financial problem, but the recreation and tourism industries would also have some trouble of their own.
Vacations in the Alps are receiving less and less demands every year. Activities like skiing in the Alps are getting less demand as more holidays are taken in warmer destinations. This is because the temperature in Mediterranean destinations becomes increasingly uncomfortable (Harris, 2004). While the recreation and tourism sector receiving less demand every year, energy consumption around the world seems to have more demands as the climate of the world warms. Demands for electricity rises as it is needed to cool residential buildings like offices and houses.
Having said all this, extreme weather events have adverse effects on energy production, distribution and fuel transportation. Slowly but certain, climate change will affect the flora and fauna. With all the changes that the world is making to compensate with the effects of climate change, the flora and fauna have to make some adaptations of their own in order to survive. However if the adaptations are not made quickly enough, flora and fauna are going to face their biggest problem which is extinction.
The problem is that their mechanisms of adaptation are no longer capable of coping with the sheer peed of change. So, to prevent the problem to get any worse than it is, we have to play our role as humans to not let flora and fauna to be extinct. The next problem that flora and fauna have to face is habitat destruction. Habitat is an essential element for flora and fauna. If the effects of climate change are worsening, then all the animals and plants in the world will not have a place to live in anymore. Most of the plants and animals have to adapt to hotter and drier or colder and wet areas around the world.
These changes in areas around the world will have a huge impact on the local ecosystem. One other thing that the climate change will affect is the environment. The obvious effect that everyone knows is that the sea level has increased significantly. During the 20th century, sea level rose about 15cm due to melting of the glacier ice and expansion of warmer seawater. Models predict that sea level may rise as much as 59cm during the 21st century, threatening coastal communities, wetland, and coral reefs (Bergman, 2011).
What climate change is doing to and its impacts on agriculture is very crucial to the very survival of the people. Several factors directly connect climate change and agricultural productivity (IPPC, 2007). Average temperature increases, change in rainfall amount and patterns, rising atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), change in climatic variability and extreme events, these main climate change related drivers may affect the agriculture sector in several ways.
Reduction in crop yields and agricultural activity may occur, besides that incidence of pest attacks may increase as increase in temperature is likely to be conducive for proliferation of pests. The availability of water may also be limited, longer periods of droughts, and reduction in soil fertility may happen. These are the disturbing effects of temperature increase around the world. The other thing that climate change will affect besides the environment is climatic zones. Climate change post a serious threat to the arctic and its wildlife.
Arctic ecosystems exist in a delicate balance with the region’s climate and, based on their reaction to different climates in the past, are likely to change significantly under future climate change (Chapin, 1992). The Arctic plays a huge role in regulating global climate. Like other regions of the world, the Arctic faces drastic change. Ecosystems and the Arctic environment would be dramatically altered by the global build-up of the greenhouse gases. Compared with the temperate and tropical ecosystems, Arctic ecosystems are considered stressed or inherently vulnerable.
The implications of warming on the Arctic may have dramatic global repercussions. Marine and terrestrial wildlife are likely to be threatened and many species could suffer or disappear entirely. Many of the flora and fauna species are unlikely to have time either to adapt to this warming, or to adjust their ranges to keep pace with the shift in climatic zones. To put things on a conclusive note, global warming already disrupts millions of lives daily in the forms of destructive weather patterns and loss of habitat (Houghton, 2007).
What is already happening is only the tip of the melting iceberg, for it is our children and grandchildren who may suffer most from the effects of climate change. The effects of climate change are likely to be severe and irreparable. If we do not reduce the rate of climate change, hundreds of millions of people may be exposed to famine, water shortages, extreme weather conditions and a 20-30% loss of animal and plant species. While humankind has the ability to destroy the planet, we can also help to protect and sustain it.