It’s hard to believe that some people are under the impression that climate change does not exist. The majority of people that I’ve heard dispute climate change are those living safe and sound in the U.S., a place that does not really experience the devastating effects of natural disaster all the time. I for one have not really seen with my own eyes the horrors that come along with storms: homes destroyed, people dead, families ripped apart. I cannot even imagine these things, but I do know that climate change does this to people, and it needs to be addressed. It is a problem that cannot be ignored any longer, or disputed by those who “don’t believe in it.”
Human activity now and the amount of carbon emissions emitted worldwide, both contribute to costal flooding. Sea levels continue to rise because of the emitted gases. Greenland, Antarctica, and land glaciers contain enough ice to cause nearly 400 feet of sea level rise if all of it melts. Thermal expansion of this added water is what will cause an extreme increase in sea level rise that also brings the destruction of habitats of sea life and homes. In addition, climate change highly impacts agriculture. Even a change in temperature of 2°C may result in significantly lower crop yields in warmer areas that are affected mostly by this change in climate. Global warming is causing temperatures in our world to increase at a rate that plants are unable to adapt to the temperature fast enough for survival.
Poor nations that depend on agriculture as their main source of food already suffer from agricultural difficulties due to climate change. For example, changes in the average and variability of climate affect the hydrological cycles causing either more or less rainfall than normal affecting the land and its ability to grow vital crops. In addition to crops being destroyed, homes are also being devastated by storms. Nearly 10% of the world’s population lives within 1 mile of a coastline. By the end of the century, IPCC estimates that sea level will rise 4- 5 feet mainly due to thermal expansion, resulting in millions losing homes. Majorities of the people affected are now living in areas in the Caribbean. Densely populated cities such as Bangladesh, Vietnam, Egypt, Guyana and many islands in the Caribbean are experiencing devastating floods and droughts that ruin homes, soil, and farmland, mainly due to sea level rise, a direct a result of climate change.
The World Bank website supplies people with knowledge about the dangerous effects due to the changing climate. It is said to say that the world’s changing climate is expected to hit developing nations first and the hardest. It contributes to changes in precipitation patterns, rising sea levels, and poses risks for weather related disasters and agriculture as well as water supply. The World Bank is trying to reduce the effects of climate change by funding projects such as The Forest Development Project, which helps to conserve National Forests; The Mozambique Conservation and Biodiversity project, which conserves woodlands and lakes in Africa; and The Environmental services Project, which works at protecting the globally. These projects and many more work to deal with natural resource management, environmental policy, water use, and biodiversity protection. But it seems like this is not enough to stop the devastating effects of climate change.
I believe that people need to realize that the nations that are hit hardest by these storms are those not contributing a lot to CO2 emissions, which is what affects climate change. Nations such as the Caribbean do not have a carbon footprint nearly as big as the U.S. or China, yet they are affected the most by series of tropical storms and other natural disasters that seem to increase in magnitude and occurrence as CO2 emissions increase worldwide.
I obviously think that the best case scenario would be to cut back on our emissions now, especially for the nations who emit the most CO2.We need to start switching over to renewable sources of energy. Although this seems like a huge investment, we are probably going to have to switch someday anyway when we run our of fossil fuels, or when the air becomes so polluted that it becomes a problem not only for regions such as the Caribbean, but for all regions. We need to realize this is a huge problem for so many people, and although some may not see the devastating effects of climate change, that does not mean they are not there or that we can simply ignore them.
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Wenmin, Tianjun Zhou, and Johann H. Jungclaus. “Effects Of Large Volcanic Eruptions On Global Summer Climate And East Asian Monsoon Changes During The Last Millennium: Analysis Of MPI-ESM Simulations.” Journal Of Climate 27. 19 (2014): 7394-7409. Academic Search Premier.
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