Life will be ‘Hell on Earth’ owing to Climate Change
Photo Credit: NASA
We are prone to an illusion of permanence. As the world it is, so it will always be, more or less, we tend to believe. When it comes to climate change, however, that assumption is seriously flawed.
Man-caused climate change is already wreaking havoc with the planet’s environments from pole to pole and everywhere in between. For starters, the adverse affects of climate change are already costly and will be hugely costly in coming decades. They will also likely affect almost all areas of life, even our ability to grow enough coffee for our morning cuppa.
And in coming decades, things are going to get worse and worse as destructive weather patterns accelerate. In fact, recently an international team of scientists argued in an influential paper that global temperatures could rise by anywhere between 4.78°C and 7.36°C above pre-industrial levels by the year 2100. That’s way more than even pessimistic models by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), according to which global temperatures will rise by between 2.6°C and 4.8°C within that same time frame.
And here’s the thing: what with the excessive amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere, the planet would be on coarse to warming dangerously, even if we stopped pumping any more greenhouse gasses collectively worldwide at the drop of a hat right now. “[E]ven if we curb emissions, summers in the tropics could see a 50 percent increase their extreme-heat days by 2050,” explains a prognosis published in Business Insider.
“Farther north, 10 percent to 20 percent of the days in a year will be hotter,” the online paper adds. “Without controlling our emissions (a business-as-usual scenario), the tropics would stay at unusually hot temperatures all summer long. In the temperate zones, 30 percent or more of the days would have temperatures that we currently consider unusual.”
In temperate climates the prospect of more warmer days each year may seem like a boon, but it won’t be. Local ecosystems, which tend to be fragile and sensitive to prolonged changes in temperatures, will suffer. Meanwhile, invasive species, including disease-carrying mosquitoes and pests from warmer climes, will invade territories ever farther north.
In the tropics, meanwhile, already intensive heat will get worse, as will tropical storms. Marine ecosystems will suffer from acidification and warming water temperatures. Simultaneously, rising sea waters, caused by the melting of ice caps at the poles, will inundate low-lying coastal areas and numerous islands, thereby displacing millions of people. Extreme swings in weather will become the norm. Crops will fail. Thriving coral reefs will be distant memories.
That’s the world we’re making.