The universe is composed of an exceptional community of life, humanity being part of it and other ecological systems. Existence in this source of life to many creatures, plants and other organisms is vital, demanding and uncertain, probably due to the forces of nature.
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In the process of acquiring survival techniques and well-being, depletion of the earth’s ecological system becomes increasingly irrepressible. This depletion is detrimental to life and is ever more becoming dangerous to the environment, thereby reducing survival chances on earth.
This is mainly due to flexibility of the society of life and welfare of humanity, which lies upon preservation of a healthy biosphere as well as its ecological systems, such as clean air, fertile soils, affluent mixture of animals and plants, and pure waters, among others. This paper will try to define environment and describe the effects of global warming on it.
Environment and Global warming
Our environment encompasses all that provides the fundamental conditions of life, without which, survival ceases. The natural environment is therefore critical in ensuring survival for humanity and other ecological systems.
It entails all the aspects of the world that is found outside artificial constructs of man and is essential to our continued existence. These include ecosystems, biodiversity, the atmosphere, plant life, water and animal life.
Humanity therefore, relies on the ability of earth to support it, yet it concerns to see how much humanity has eroded other living creatures by altering the balances of the atmosphere. This, combined with other natural causes, has led to climatic change, which have in-turn resulted in global warming.
Global warming refers to the increase in the mean temperature of the air near the surface of the earth and oceans, which started in mid-20th century as well as its anticipated prolongation. During the 20th century, assessments have shown that global temperatures of the surface increased by 0.74 degrees Celsius.
This is believed to have been caused by human activities like deforestation and burning of fossils, as well as the ever-increasing concentration of green house gases such as carbon dioxide, among others.
Effects of Global warming
Global warming has had a great impact on the environment with the future survival of the earth’s habitat put in jeopardy as a clean environment signifies better life and vice versa. The environment has undergone various transformations due to increasing temperatures. These effects include:
Rise in Sea Level
Since global warming raises the average global surface temperatures, this causes polar ice caps and glaciers to melt, thereby leading to expansion of water bodies. In essence, sea levels continue to rise and predictions point to the fact that it could rise as much as 88 centimeters.
Reduction Sea Ice
With the expected melting f ice caps and glaciers, it is expected that about 60% of glaciers and Ice caps will melt. This is likely to be of great concern in Greenland and Antarctica.
Due to the continuing rise in sea level because of global warming, and the corresponding increase in amount of green house gas emissions such as carbon dioxide, precipitation is increased. This is of great concern as carbon dioxide easily mixes with seawater, acidifying the ocean water, and the result is a bleak future for ocean life.
Forest fires have been devastating as they destroy the ecosystem; pollute the environment, ultimately causing drought and uncontrollable repercussions in form of famine, malnutrition, and even death. As global warming continues, it is predicted that rainfall will gradually decrease in mid attitude areas. This would lead to drought in such areas, and drought is known to cause and spread more forest fires than other causes.
As has been stated earlier, while global warming continues, there is rise in sea level and corresponding increase in precipitation. This will change the climatic weather pattern of the earth; thereby leading to weather that is more adverse.
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Massive storms have been experienced in the past, and it is predicted that with increasing global warming, even much worse situations will be experienced in the future. Tropical storms are the most likely and hurricanes, with tsunamis making headways in destroying coastal regions, especially in earthquake active areas.
Such extreme weather is already taking place, since rainfall associated with cyclones is already observed in areas such as USA. Low-lying coasts are at a greater risk as was witnessed in hurricane Katrina. Higher rates of evaporation due to occurrence of frequent droughts in sub-Saharan Africa are likely to enlarge areas experiencing desertification.
Moreover, more rainfalls that are uneven will cause flooding and soil erosion, with inadequate resources to combat such situation surfacing.
Effect on Ecosystems
Global warming has affected all ecosystems and the United Nations predict that if this continues, then by 2075 only some locally endemic species are anticipated to survive. Furthermore, it is also expected that within the next 30 years, about 20% of mammals that exist on earth will be extinct, as well as 12% of bird species. This has caused many species to move towards higher latitudes.
Global warming has had a great impact on the environment, which sustains all that is in it. This is detrimental to its balancing, causing its depletion and climatic change. Of great concerns are the environmental impacts on ecosystems that survive on earth.
Concisely, Effects of global warming on the environment include, rising sea levels, increasing forest fires, extinction of vast species of the ecosystems, ocean acidification, reduction in ice and glaciers as well as severe weather conditions.