Climate Change (III)
Written by Alfonso Elizondo
In the last few decades, measurements by meteorological stations indicate that the Planet has been warming up. In 150 years the temperature has increased 0.5°C and will rise above 1°C in 2020. In the last 200 years, human beings have caused an increase in the Earth’s temperature that did not occur even in the millions of years when humans did not exist.
The effects of climate change are the same as those of global warming, such as sea level rise, ice melt, ocean acidification, extreme weather events, etc. But in each region of the world the impacts are different.
Warming is expected to be greater on land than at sea and the strongest increase will occur in the Arctic with the retreat of glaciers, permafrost and fonquisa, in addition to tundra, mangroves and coral reefs.
There are also extreme weather events such as heat, drought, torrential rains and heavy snowfall. There is also ocean acidification and the extinction of animal species.
With regard to the impact on humans, there is the threat to food security as crops and habitat are lost to flooding. The World Health Organization warns that malaria, malnutrition and waterborne diseases may attack millions of people.
A decline in wheat and corn production worldwide has already been detected. This is in addition to the fact that there have been deaths linked to the change from cold to heat and the livelihoods of indigenous peoples who have to migrate to urban areas have been affected. So it is necessary to act soon because the longer governments take to react, the higher will be the investments to make the world adapt to rising temperatures.
According to climate change expert, David Wallace-Wells, the following are predicted:
1.- Some regions of the Earth will probably become uninhabitable by the end of this century.
2.- Coastal areas such as Miami or Bangladesh could disappear.
3.- Agricultural production will fall significantly.
4.- There will be diseases caused by the melting of polar ice or the expansion of current geographical areas.
5.- There will be a considerable decrease in human cognitive abilities due to the possible tripling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
6.- Smog levels may cause millions of premature deaths.
Some of these large-scale changes could be violent and irreversible. This would increase the likelihood that sudden climate change will lead to global warming of a greater magnitude that is faster and longer.