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Effects Of Global Warming

What Will Global Warming Lead To In Your Part Of The World?

More About Climate Change

Do you know what the likely effects of global warming will be where you live?

Depending on which part of the world you reside in, the effects of global warming will vary quite significantly. Since our climate is such a complicated system, projections are still very uncertain as to exactly what will happen and where, but some general conclusions can still be drawn both on a global and regional level.

In this article, you'll learn some important facts on global warming, and its effects on a regional level in North America and Europe.

To learn more about why global warming is happening, read about greenhouse gases and how they affect our climate here.

The Effects Of Global Warming

Global warming effects on a global level

The most current predictions by IPCC indicate that depending on how our world's population, economy and environmental actions develop during the coming decades, global warming by the end of this century will be between 1.4 and 5.8C (2.5 to 10F) compared to the 20th century.

Nice and warm, eh?

Unfortunately, and any temperature increase above the range of 3.5 to 5.5F over the next 100 years would dramatically increase the negative impacts of climate change.

Global warming can have significant impacts on weather. Let's take a look at how global warming will affect precipitation. When temperatures rise the additional heat will intensify the Earth's water cycle. With more evaporation more water will be available in the air for storms although some areas will actually have increased drying. Those areas affected by storms will most likely see significant increases in rain and snow with increased flooding. For those areas that are off the natural storm track the opposite will happen-they will experience less precipitation and increased drought.

Because warm sea water surface temperatures energize hurricanes, global warming may intensify hurricanes when they occur. Hurricanes in the future will probably have stronger peak winds and increased rainfall. Research is under way to better identify the relationship between sea surface temperatures and the frequency of hurricanes. Currently there is no scientific agreement as to whether or not global warming will increase the frequency of hurricanes.

Polar ice sheets (such as those on Greenland and Antarctica) are some of the largest surfaces on our planet. Changes to them, however small, could have far reaching effects. With global warming polar ice sheets could potentially accumulate more snow and ice because of an increase in precipitation. However, global warming is also expected to reduce the size and extent of the polar ice sheets because of melting. Scientists expect the melting of polar ice and land-based glaciers to cause a rise in the sea level. The IPCC projects a rise in sea level of between six inches and two feet during the 21st century. Sea levels could rise significantly more if there are sudden increases in ice sheet melt. Such increases have already been observed but their effects have not yet been incorporated into current projections of sea level rise.

The stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is of particular concern. A sudden collapse of the ice sheet could raise sea levels 16 to 20 feet.

Global warming effects by region

While countries close the equator or very low-lying countries, such as many islands, are likely to be affected the most by global warming, North America and Europe will not be spared:

For North America the following effects are projected by IPCC's climate models:

  • Warming in western mountains is projected to cause decreased snowpack, more winter flooding and reduced summer flows, exacerbating competition for over-allocated water resources.

  • In the early decades of the century, moderate climate change is projected to increase aggregate yields of rain-fed agriculture by 5 to 20%, but with important variability among regions. Major challenges are projected for crops that are near the warm end of their suitable range or which depend on highly utilised water resources.

  • Cities that currently experience heat waves are expected to be further challenged by an increased number, intensity and duration of heat waves during the course of the century, with potential for adverse health impacts.

  • Coastal communities and habitats will be increasingly stressed by climate change impacts interacting with development and pollution.
And in Europe:
  • Climate change is expected to magnify regional differences in Europe’s natural resources and assets. Negative impacts will include increased risk of inland flash floods and more frequent coastal flooding and increased erosion (due to storminess and sea level rise).

  • Mountainous areas will face glacier retreat, reduced snow cover and winter tourism, and extensive species losses (in some areas up to 60% under high emissions scenarios by 2080).

  • In southern Europe, climate change is projected to worsen conditions (high temperatures and drought) in a region already vulnerable to climate variability, and to reduce water availability, hydropower potential, summer tourism and, in general, crop productivity.

  • Climate change is also projected to increase the health risks due to heat waves and the frequency of wildfires.
Global warming is happening and most likely at a more rapid pace than ever before due to us, humans. For me, this is an important reason to try to use alternative energy sources as much as I can in my daily life.

I'd much rather be part of a generation who took the responsibility to contribute to a better future environment, than one that selfishly saw what happened but did nothing.

How about you

Video Explanation By Al Gore

I heard him speak at the Kyoto conference back in 1998. At that point he was Vice President of United States and couldn't really do much in terms of taking actions to prevent global warming. But since then a lot has happened. Take a moment to watch this video clip where he explains the effects of global warming. He does it well. If yo want to buy his whole lecture "An Inconvenient Thruth", you'll find it among recommended resources to learn more below.

And for an brilliant discussion on whether to take action to prevent climate change or not, click here.

Learn more

If you want to learn more about the effects of global warming and hat to do about it, here are a few recommended resources:

  • The Climate Crisis: An Introductory Guide to Climate Change
  • Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity
  • An Inconvenient Truth

More About Climate Change

And to read more about solutions for global warming, you'll find a list here at on what needs to be changed.

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