The Pandemic has jolted most of humanity, however, the risk posed by global warming remains. The average temperature on Earth is approximately 15℃, although temperatures have been considerably higher and lower in previous years.
There are natural climatic variations, but experts claim that “temperatures are currently increasing faster than at any prior eras.” Since the late 1800s, the average surface temperature of the Earth has risen by approximately 2.12℉ or 1.18°C. This shift was mainly caused by increasing carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, as well as other human activities.
The majority of the warming has happened in the last 40 years, with the most recent seven years being the highest. The hottest years are predicted to be 2016 and 2020. Human activities have boosted CO2 emissions, causing temperatures to rise. Extreme weather and disappearing arctic ice are two potential outcomes. The majority of CO2 emissions caused by humans are caused by the use of fossil fuels.
Carbon is released when carbon-absorbing forests are chopped down and allowed to decay or burn, leading to global warming. The primary source of these emissions is the use of fossil fuels for energy, with additions from agriculture, deforestation, and industry. The ocean has consumed most of the extra heat, with the top hundred meters of water showing a “warming of more than 0.6 ℉,” or.33 ° C, since 1969.
The ocean absorbs 90% of the excess energy on Earth. The temperature increase has been exacerbated in the Arctic, where it has led to permafrost melting, glacier retreat, and sea ice loss. Rising temperatures increase evaporation rates, resulting in more severe storms and extreme weather events.
Solar radiation reflected back to space from the Earth’s surface is absorbed by greenhouse gases and re-emitted in all directions. This warms both the lower atmosphere and the planet’s surface. Without this impact, the Earth would be about 30 celsius colder and more habitable to life.
Between 2005 and 2015, the average sea level rose by 3.6mm per year across the world. The majority of this change was caused by water increasing in the capacity as it heated up. However, melting ice is currently believed to be the primary cause of increasing sea levels. The majority of glaciers in the world’s temperate areas are receding. Satellite data indicate a significant decrease in Arctic sea ice since 1979. In recent years, the Greenland Ice Sheet has seen “a higher record of ice loss.”
The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is likewise losing thickness, according to satellite data. According to new research, East Antarctica may be losing mass as well. The impacts of climate change may be observed in plants and land animals. These include early blooming and fruiting periods for plants, as well as shifts in animal territories.
According to the World Meteorological Organization, if the present warming trend continues, temperatures may increase by 3-5°C by the end of the century. The bulk of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets has shrunk. Greenland lost an average of 279 billion tonnes of ice each year between 1993 and 1998, according to NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, while Antarctica lost approximately 148 billion tonnes per year.
According to a recent study conducted by NASA and university experts, ocean waves dissolving the undersides of Antarctic ice shelves are responsible for the vast majority of the continent’s land ice erosion.
Many species are being relocated or wiped out as their environments change, most notably in corals, highlands, and the Arctic. People face food poverty, water shortages, floods, infectious illnesses, severe heat, economic losses, and relocation as a result of climate change.
Because of these consequences, the World Health Organization has declared climate change to be the biggest danger to world health in the twenty-first century. Even if attempts to reduce future warming are successful, certain impacts, such as rising sea levels, increasing ocean levels, and acidification of the oceans, will last for decades.
Many terrestrial and freshwater species have been forced to migrate to the poles and higher altitudes as a result of recent warming. Climatic change has aided the spread of drier climate zones, such as the spread of deserts in the subtropics. Because of the magnitude and pace of global warming, dramatic changes in ecosystems are becoming more probable. Many species are predicted to go extinct as a consequence of climate change.
Heatwaves in the water, as on land, are becoming more often as a result of climate change, having negative consequences for a variety of species including corals, kelp, and seabirds. Acidification is having an effect on species that generate shells and skeletons, such as mussels and barnacles, as well as reefs; corals have seen widespread bleached after extreme heat.
The global climate is expected to alter more during the next century and beyond. The intensity, frequency, and duration of North Atlantic cyclones, as well as the recurrence of the strongest storms, have all increased since the early 1980s.
Storm surges and high tides may interact with rising sea levels and ground subsidence during the next few decades to exacerbate floods in many areas. As a result, ocean waters will persist to heat, and sea surface temperatures will rise at rates comparable to or greater than those seen in the present century for many centuries. The Arctic Ocean is projected to be ice-free in the summer by mid-century.
Countries have just a limited amount of time; they have already committed to significant carbon reduction, and there has been progressing. China is responsible for about 28% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. China planned to achieve carbon neutrality by the year 2060. In March 2020, the European Union followed likewise. Since then, Japan and South Korea have joined the battle, bringing the total number of nations that have set a net-zero goal for mid-century to over 110, according to the UN.
Renewables are currently the cheapest energy source available. When it comes to constructing new power plants, renewables are already often less expensive than fossil fuel electricity in most of the globe. Citizens and governments may select from a number of alternatives, including changing their energy production and consumption patterns in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
While our knowledge of how climate change impacts severe weather is constantly evolving, research indicates that extreme weather may be impacted much more than previously thought. Increasingly extreme weather is becoming more common, and all predictions are that it will continue spreading in anticipated and unexpected ways.