The Effects of Climate Change

Subject: Environment
Pages: 3
Words: 554
Reading time:
2 min
Study level: Bachelor

It is evidently true that there has been a significant increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmospheres by up to 40 percent today, than it was in the years preceding the industrial revolution (L11). There is equally a strong correlation between the concentration of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and global warming. Change in atmospheric temperature occurs when there is a variation in the energy stored by the climate system; this is caused by a significant change in global energy balance, that is, when there is a significant variation in the energy emitted by the sun and the reflected heat from the earth. Several natural mechanisms can cause this upset in energy balance. These include, variation in the earth’s orbit, differences in oceanic circulation and changes in the composition of earth’s atmospheric gases (L3).

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Various models by paleo climatologists and climate modeling scientists have concluded that climate forcing is mainly caused by the change in the composition of global atmospheric gases. There are significant evidences from a number of models that indicate that the changes in atmospheric gases are caused by anthropogenic factors (L9). Therefore, we can conclude confidently that global warming is caused by human activities.

Climate change has far-reaching consequences on human health and the ecological composition of the universe. Though climate change has led to significant increase in agricultural production and relieved the pressure on livestock production. There is a likely hood of negative effects in the long-term leading to food insecurity. (L17).

The sea level is projected to rise by between 5 to 35 inches between the years 1990 and 2100, human settlements along coastlines will be adversely affected by this rise in sea level; vast pieces of land lying in the low land areas will be submerged. Drought prone areas on the other hand, will witness an increase in intensity and frequency of dry hot weather. The increase in heat will equally increase precipitation, which will lead to the high risk of flooding (L20). According to the World health organization the annual mortality caused by the climate change is approximately 150 000 people. Majority die of cardiovascular diseases, diarrhea, malaria, flooding, and malnutrition (L20).

In the context of geologic time, the effects of climate change is significantly minor, over the last decade there has been a stabilization of temperature even though there has been recorded increase in greenhouse gas emission. The effects of climate change takes very long time to be felt (L11). Therefore, it will take a significant long duration of time to notice the negative impacts of climate forcing activities we are carrying out today (L8).

A synergy need to be forged between mitigation and adaptation initiatives. Carbon sequestration provides one of the best methods of mitigating climate change. Forest carbon sequestration is a cheap and effective way of mitigating climate change; considering that deforestation alone, contributes approximately 20 % of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere (L23). Geologic carbon sequestration can also be an important alternative, North America geologic formation has the capacity to contain up to 160 years of emissions at the current emission rate (L26). Since the effect of climate change is not reversible advocating for adaptation and/or acclimation options only without mitigation initiatives would be counterproductive considering the sociopolitical and economic consequences of climate change.