Effects of Climate Change

Climate change has already had noticeable effects on the environment on a global scale. In the past, scientists predicted the key changes in our environment would include the melting of sea ice, the rising of global sea levels, and an increase in erratic weather patterns (NASA, 2018). These are just some of the impacts that human-induced climate change has had on our planet. This section will outline a few other key climate change impacts, as well as societal perceptions on climate change.

NASA Climate Change 2019

Scientists have high confidence that global temperatures will continue to rise for decades to come, largely due to greenhouse gases produced by human activities (NASA, 2018). A global rise of temperature equivalent of 2.5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit is forecasted over the next century. This rise will cause damage to “societal and environmental systems” who will be forced either to adapt to the change, or find ways to mitigate the damage (NASA, 2018). There are many other long-term effects of climate change that are important to know. First off, the Arctic Ocean is expected to be ice-free by the mid-century, which will have a cascade of commensurate effects such as sea-level rise and loss of animal habitat. Along with the melting ice, global sea levels are expected to rise between 1 and 4 feet by 2100 (NASA, 2018). This means many coastal populations will be flooded and will inevitably have to migrate.

Changing weather patterns will not only create an increase in the intensity and frequency of hurricanes and other storm systems, but it will alter the growing and harvesting seasons for farmers which will throw off food production. Additionally, as more moderate climate areas are hit with heatwaves and droughts, certain crops may no longer be able to grow in such environments.

Despite all these impending effects of the changing global climate, there is still a decent sized portion of the global population who do not believe this to be a pressing issue, or are not even aware of it or its effects. In a study published in 2014, researchers estimated that 60 percent of adults worldwide were aware of climate change, whereas 40 percent had never heard of it (Armstrong, 2018). Survey data demonstrates that high carbon dioxide emitting countries like the United States and China are among the least concerned about climate change, whereas lower-emitting countries in South America and Africa are most concerned. Understanding the future impacts of climate change, as well as acknowledging how we can mitigate the effects already seen today, are key in making sure we leave this planet in good enough shape for future generations to enjoy with a sense of pride and security.

Works Cited

CLIMATE CHANGE ATTITUDES AND KNOWLEDGE.” Communicating Climate Change: A Guide for Educators, by Anne K. Armstrong et al., Cornell University Press, ITHACA; LONDON, 2018, pp. 21–24. JSTOR.

Global Climate Change: Effects.” NASA, NASA, 28 Nov. 2018.