“Climate change is the most important environmental issue of our time.” This quote from Albert Einstein says a lot about the weight placed on this topic by some of the world’s most influential scientists.
Climate change has been linked to a massive rise in temperatures, as well as a rise in forest fires, melting glaciers and ice caps, and increased extinction rates for animals and plants. The result? Devastating effects on life as we know it.
In this post, we will explore how climate change is currently affecting science with help from some of the world renowned scientists who called for action last week at AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston.
What is climate change?
Climate change is our collective response to an increase in greenhouse gases (GHG).
These gases are emitted into the atmosphere by many human activities, principally fossil fuel burning.
Greenhouse gases trap heat, which warms our planet. Greenhouse gases act like a blanket around the Earth, trapping heat within the atmosphere–much like sunlight warms your skin.
Without greenhouse gases, the planet would be much colder than it is today. But instead of cooling off, the Earth keeps getting warmer due to increased levels of these greenhouse gases. This phenomenon is what we call climate change.
Here Riddim Saunter are some of the major effects of Climate Change on Science :
1. Rise in sea level
. The temperature of the air and the oceans is rising, and this is leading to a rise in sea levels. According to NASA, since 1870 sea levels have risen by about 8 inches.
The United Nations climate models predict an average rise of between 1 and 4 feet by 2100 due to global warming.
This means that cities such as Miami will be underwater within the next few hundred years
2. Extreme weather events
. A recent study suggests that a warmer atmosphere is causing more tornadoes in some areas of the world, resulting in more damage and deaths.
Scientists have also found a link between a rapidly warming Arctic region and a series of record-cold winters for Europe and Russia in recent years.
3. Increase in allergy rates
. Insects are migrating northward due to rising temperatures. This increase in temperature is causing more individuals to suffer from allergies, again due to the changing climate.
Scientists also believe that this increasing rate of insect migration could be aggravating existing allergy rates.
4. Increase in the threat of disease
. Warming of the climate is causing harmful changes which can lead to increases or decreases in crop yields, especially for some fruits and vegetables.
They are also changing the face of wildlife worldwide, leading some animals to migrate toward warmer climates due to healthier living environments there.
5. Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent
. The frequency of extreme weather events is smaller than it was in the past.
However, scientists have started to notice that the scale of the events is affecting people in a greater way than ever before.
For example, studies have shown increased instances of flooding in Asia, where countries are already struggling with desertification and drought due to global warming.
6. Rising sea levels are causing erosion and contributing to sea level rise
The impacts of climate change are manifesting themselves all over the world.
The first, and most obvious example is rising sea levels. With rising sea levels comes increased coastal erosion. One of the major effects of climate change on science is that some areas are eroding so fast that some coastal cities are already seeing increased flooding.
At this rate some islands will be completely underwater by the year 2090, according to researchers at University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Houses built in low lying areas are already being destroyed due to erosion.
All over the world, people are beginning to take precautions against rising sea levels that will continue to rise as temperatures increase around the globe.
7. Increased extinction rates for animals and plants
. We see changes in the behavior and physiology of some animal species in certain parts of the world. So far, scientists have been able to link this change to climate change.
For example, polar bears have been observed to be more active in areas with warmer temperatures, while some butterflies have been observed to migrate further south due to warmer temperatures.
8. The water cycle is changing
There is a lot going on in the world of clouds that we don’t fully understand just yet.
The clouds play a major role in regulating the temperature of the Earth, and scientists have already noticed a decrease in cloud formation which is resulting in a cooling of the Earth.
Over the next 100 years, it is predicted that the Earth will warm by up to 3.9 degrees Fahrenheit.