June 24, 2019

Consequences of global warming

By Jessica Cantrell

Global warming is no longer a problem of the future: it is a situation that must be stopped immediately or the destruction of the planet will be irreversible.

Droughts, hurricanes, hunger, poverty and destruction: these are some of the terrible consequences that global warming causes on our planet. And it is in our hands to actively participate in stopping its effects if we want the next generations to inherit a world as we know it today. Or even better.

Protecting the environment is very important. Today we want to explain to you what are 10 of the most important effects of global warming, so that you become aware of the levels it affects. Let’s go there!

What are the consequences of global warming?

Warmer temperatures

The accumulation of polluting gases causes temperatures to increase and climates to change: this causes droughts and also increases the risk of fires that lead to deforestation and desertification of the planet.

In 2012, the countries of the Sahel, in North Africa, suffered a food crisis that affected some 18 million people due to the scarcity of rainfall. This year, 2019, we are facing a new crisis that is becoming dramatic: the emergency of drought in the Horn of Africa requires immediate assistance. Otherwise, 7.6 million people may die from extreme hunger.

More intense storms

The fact that temperatures are higher makes rainfall less frequent, but more intense; therefore, the level of flooding and its severity will also increase.

Spread of disease

A change in temperature of several degrees can make the temperate zone more hospitable to the spread of certain diseases. In this way, cases of Chagas’ disease, dengue fever or other diseases that are neglected in developed countries and in areas that have traditionally been colder can begin to occur.

This fact also affects developing countries. According to Veo Verde, a study of cases in Ethiopia and Colombia conducted by scientists from the universities of Denver (UD) and Michigan (UM), global warming increases the risk of malaria at high altitudes and, furthermore, warns that a one degree increase in the temperature of the environment results in the development of 3 million more cases of malaria in Ethiopia in patients under 15 years of age.

Stronger heat waves

The global warming of the planet produced by the accelerated burning of exhaustible fossil fuels has been very intense in the North Pole. This makes the North Pole much warmer today than it was fifty years ago. The health and even the lives of thousands of people may be at risk due to the increase in heat waves, both in terms of frequency and intensity.

Melting of the glaciers

Oceans with higher temperatures are oceans that melt ice from the polar ice caps: this means that the sea level increases.

Global effects will include substantial changes in the availability of water for drinking and irrigation, as well as a rise in sea levels, changes in water circulation patterns in the oceans, and the threat to the survival of species of flora and fauna that survive in these ecosystems.

Most dangerous hurricanes

Rising sea temperatures make hurricanes more violent. Why? Because a hurricane is the means the planet has to distribute excess heat from warm areas to colder ones. And the hotter it gets, the more hurricanes there are, with all the problems they bring with them: destruction of cities, destruction of crops, dismantling of all systems, diseases…

Ecosystem Change

Higher temperatures, less rainfall, droughts and floods make the climate adapt to this new climate and, therefore, changes occur in the length of the seasons, patterns more typical of monsoon climates appear .

Disappearance of animal species

Many species of animals are seeing their current climate disappear and are not able to adapt to changes so quickly. Thus, many polar bears are drowning because they cannot reach the floating ice, and migratory birds are losing the ability to migrate because they cannot follow the temperature flows to which they are accustomed.

Sea level rise

As the ice caps melt, much more water is dumped into the seas and oceans and therefore sea levels rise: this is one of the most serious consequences of climate change, as it means that many, many islands could disappear in the future and that a good number of cities will see their distance from the coast significantly reduced.

More expensive food

Climate change threatens the production of such basic foods as wheat, and this means that hundreds of thousands of people whose lives depend on their crops are at risk of losing everything. And not only that: if crops are scarce, prices will skyrocket.

This affects all of us, but in less developed countries with very high poverty rates, the consequences can be devastating. In addition, the global warming that causes this lack of food in people’s daily lives leads to wars and migrations of entire peoples who must seek a different destination where they can find food.

As you see, fighting the consequences of global warming is vital if we do not want our planet, as we know it today, to disappear. Any small change in temperature alters the balance of our planet and, with it, our health, our quality of life and the future of the generations to come.

We need to start laying the foundations for a more sustainable future. Together we can achieve this, but there is no time to lose! Shall we start now?