- Agriculture: Defined as the science of farming, including the cultivation of soil and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, etc., agriculture relies solely on a dependable and healthy ecosystem. And with climate change, comes unreliability. Agriculture is greatly impacted by the rising temperatures and the higher potential of droughts or floods that come with the changing ecosystem. While many of us simply buy our food and move on with our days, it is important to recognize the energy and effort that goes behind the contents of our grocery stores. U.S. farms supply nearly 25% of all grains on the global market, which means that not only is U.S. agriculture vital in the production of food, but it has a great deal of an impact on the economy as well.
Effect: Rising food costs
- Natural Disasters: With rising temperatures, the water vapor evaporating into the atmosphere increases the chance of heavy hitting storms. This essentially means, that the increased humidity and heat in the atmosphere provides fuel for storms like hurricanes to grow larger and stronger than they would have should the temperatures be stable. On top of storms like hurricanes, the melting of glaciers and ice caps along the poles are causing sea levels to rise, therefore increasing the chances of severe and damaging flooding when storms hit.
Effect: Escalation in flooding year after year – $$$millions to rebuild – rise in taxes to pay for it
- Water Resources: As mentioned above, the increased temperatures that come along with climate change cause increased amounts of evaporation. As a result, the atmosphere is slowly but surely increasing in its capacity to hold water, which is one of the causes of droughts. According to the EPA, over the past 50 years, the amount of rain falling during heavy precipitation has increased in the U.S—and heightened temperatures in the winter raise the likelihood of getting rain rather than snow. The impact climate change has on water resources is truly shocking. Not only does it affect agriculture and the production of energy, but it means that many areas across the globe are facing shocking water shortages resulting in long and withstanding droughts.
Effect: Drought, famine
- Wonders of the Natural World: Not only will our daily lives be impacted by the changing climate, but the natural wonders of the world that we grew up marveling will be effected as well. Most prominently, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is facing warming ocean temperatures and increased carbon dioxide exposure which is causing erosion and coral bleaching. It is reported that over the past 16 years, more than half of this spectacular reef has disappeared.
Effect: Erosion and devastation
- Human Health: Along with the shocking impact of climate change on the world around us, climate change impacts our health on numerous levels. From everything from mental health, which becomes more prominent in extreme heat, to allergens and asthma, which are heightened by the increasingly early spring pollen seasons, human health is impacted daily by the results of the changing climate.
Effect: People getting sicker, overburdening an already broken healthcare system, escalating medical costs
- Extinction: Some of the world’s most incredible creatures are feeling the impact of climate change more than anyone. According to Polar Bears International, scientists predict that the sea loss corresponding to climate change could result in two thirds of the worlds Polar Bears to be gone by 2050, and for the species to be extinct by 2100.
Effect: Changing the ecosystem of the planet
- Impact on the Indigenous Peoples: Indigenous people are more commonly known as natives to a specific country or region. The native peoples often live in communities along the coast, and rely on natural resources for food, cultural practices and income. Because of the increased pollution of water, climate change is greatly increasing water related illnesses in multiple indigenous cultures. Droughts also impact access to drinking water, and available game to hunt.
Effect: Breakdown of native cultures
- Ruined Roads: Increased temperatures are taking a toll on roads and highways. With high temperatures comes potholes and rutting due to the softening and expanding of the highways. This is particularly prominent on major highways and bridges where traffic is heavy and roads are quickly worn.
Effect: Collapsing infrastructure
- Unpredictable Daily Weather: Like we’ve already mentioned, climate change can have a big impact on heavy storms and natural disasters. But did you know it can also change day to day weather? Over the past 50 years, the earth has seen more warming than ever. This is mainly a result of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Climate change isn’t just making hurricanes stronger, it’s making the average day hotter, and making rain vary from frequent and intense to rare and drought like
- Rising Sea Levels: Rising sea levels are caused by the added water from melting glaciers and ice caps, and the expansion of the sea in increased temperatures. In a shocking analysis, it was revealed by National oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that the sea level is rising at a rate of about 3.2mm per year.
Effect: Floods and destruction