Risks of Global Warming Rising
From many unprecedented natural disasters to extreme weather changes occurring lately, scientists over the globe are getting more worried about the catastrophic issue of global warming and its many bizarre effects. According to (Biello, 2009), the risks of harmful consequences brought on by global warming has explicitly marred many potential positive aspects, like the complete melting of ice caps in areas like Greenland and Antarctica has seriously interfered with the duration of growing seasons in countries like Canada and Russia. From the burning of fossil fuels to release of poisonous gases in the atmosphere, variations in climate extremes to rising sea levels, and shrinking extent of Arctic sea ice, the issue of global warming has unequivocally impacted the Earth both environmentally and geographically in a way that no one can remain oblivious to it.
One of the most distressing issues presented by global warming is that it can do much more than simply melting polar ice and increasing global average temperatures. This is an established fact that global warming can both conspicuously and subtly impact the Earth map. The relation between global warming and the geography can be illuminated by the scientific fact that in the past many years, the extent of Arctic sea ice has been declining and reportedly, millions of square kilometers of sea ice have been lost due to increasing temperatures. Such disrupted Arctic climate patterns have led to increased wastage of the sun’s energy which normally has to be recycled back towards space, but with the ice melting at an aggravated pace in the Northern Hemisphere, the ocean waters absorb most of the sun’s energy and this explains the why the global average sea levels are increasing.
The picture above shows that Arctic sea ice retreat will not continue at a stable rate in the future. Global warming has casted huge geographical changes in the Arctic sea ice. Most of the ice lost over the past many years owing to global warming has been replaced by thin ice that is being melted by the increasing temperatures at a faster pace. In fact, the Arctic sea ice cover will continue degenerating over the coming years and if the increasing trend in global warming persists, the Earth will be completely swept of the Arctic sea ice by 2050. (marellascience, 2011).
Rising sea levels is also one of the worst consequences of global warming brought on by rapidly melting ice caps and this has led a large number of people to move away from areas near the coasts and settle down somewhere else. According to (Bergman & Renwick, 2005, p. 96), scientific studies have proved that global warming has caused a rise of “1 to 5 meters” in the worldwide sea level. Owing to the fact that sea level is on a constant rise for the past many years, minimal changes in climate can change into deadly storms that can cause flooding farther inland and inflict population on a large scale. 2010 Pakistan floods and 2011 Tsunami in Japan are the recent most disastrous examples of the extreme climate changes.
The sever climate change occurring from global warming can also lead to water shortages in some areas. Small changes in evapotranspiration rates can lead to decreased water flow to the rivers and semiarid and densely populated areas depend on river flow for drinking water, agricultural, and waste removal purposes. In case of increase in evapotranspiration rates owing to an increase in global warming, less water reaches the rivers and extreme water shortage occurs causing huge distress for the local population. (Vastag, 2005) claims that according to a research study done by the US climate scientists, “global warming threatens to leave a billion people high and dry despite the fact that ice caps are gradually melting.”
Global warming has also affects the geographic ranges of some plant and animals, according to (pewclimate.org, n.d.). Changing climatic patterns play a crucial role in determining the geographical distribution of some plant and animal species. With the global warming on a rise, research studies done in the western United States suggest that many populations of the species checkerspot butterfly have vanished completely and while Mexico is nearly devoid of this species, northern areas like Canada are crowded with it. In animals, the red fox is another species that has shifted to the Arctic area, as the temperatures have increased over the last many years. Northern areas are infiltrated by the southern, warmer-water species and such major shifts potentially threaten United State’s biodiversity.
- Bergman, E. F. & Renwick, W. H. (2005). Introduction to Geography (3rd ed.). US: Pearson Education Inc.
- Biello, D. (2009). Risks of Global Warming Rising: Is It Too Late to Reverse Course? Retrieved from http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=risks-of-global-warming-rising.
- Marellascience. (2011). Some scientists say that changes to the Arctic Sea Ice will cause the rate of climate change to increase. WHY? Retrieved from http://marellascience.wikispaces.com/Sea+Ice
- Pewclimate.org. (n.d.). Global warming in depth. Retrieved from http://www.pewclimate.org/global-warming-in-depth/all_reports/observedimpacts/execsumm.cfm
- Vastag, B. (2005). Warming May Cause Widespread Water Shortages, Studies S. Retrieved from http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/11/1121_051121_warming_water.html