One of the major challenges facing the global community today is the impact of global warming. There are numerous concerns about the consequences of climate change, including increased food prices and agricultural pests. In addition, rising sea levels and rising ocean temperatures may result in more severe floods. While the long-term effects of climate change are yet to be determined, there is a high likelihood that we will soon see the negative impact of global warming on our lives.
Impact of global warming on water supply
Climate change has profound impacts on water resources, and we’re already seeing the results. Climate change is altering the distribution of rainfall, snowmelt, river flows, and groundwater, and it’s already having measurable effects on our water supply. This is bad news for low-income communities and ecosystems, which depend on clean, abundant water to survive. Changing water availability and quality are already contributing to increased conflict, political instability, and displacement.
Climate change also alters the water cycle. Increased temperatures cause nutrient pollution and lead to harmful algal blooms. This increases the frequency of storms, and makes it harder for people to access clean drinking water. Increasing temperatures also increase the rate of evaporation, which causes more intense rainfall and drought. Combined, these conditions can lead to food shortages, water contamination, and other negative effects. Luckily, most of these impacts are preventable.
Impact of global warming on agricultural pests
The impact of global warming on agricultural pests may not be immediately obvious, but the consequences can be substantial. For instance, a rise in CO2 concentrations, a direct consequence of human activity, will likely affect pest populations. Increased CO2 concentrations will affect plant chemistry, physiology, and nutritional content. Rising CO2 levels also may favor the growth of pests, and the increased moisture may wash away larvae and eggs.
If global temperatures rise by 2C, crop yields will likely decline by about four percent, with the loss of a quarter of a percent to a third. In the long run, yield losses from pests are projected to increase by 10 to 25 percent for each additional degree of warming. The biggest losses will occur in temperate zones where temperatures are high enough to increase insect population growth. However, the threat to yields is greater in countries with higher temperatures, where temperature rise is already an issue.
Impact of global warming on sea levels
The rise of sea levels is directly linked to the systematic warming of our planet. The melting of polar ice sheets and mountain glaciers contributes water to the seas, causing them to expand and add volume. Global mean sea levels have risen about 210 to 240 mm since 1880, with one third of this rise occurring in the last two and a half decades. Regional variations can also occur, depending on natural variability of regional winds.
Satellite altimeters like the Jason-1 and Jason-2 measure ocean temperature. These instruments measure the temperature of the oceans, which helps scientists understand the process of thermal expansion that contributes to sea level rise. Recent satellite measurements show that sea levels are rising twice as fast as they did in the early 1900s. Even though these measurements are not scientifically conclusive, they do show that global warming is causing sea levels to rise.
Impact of global warming on floods
Several studies show that the number of people at risk of flooding is rising due to climate change. In the last 25 years, Antarctica has lost nearly three trillion tonnes of ice, and the global sea level has risen eight millimeters. Future sea levels are expected to rise five meters. Women are especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. They are more likely to be poor, suffer violence, and experience discrimination. Flooding also exposes them to more hazardous materials.
Climate change increases the likelihood of extreme floods and precipitation events, affecting coastal and riverine communities, in particular. As a result, climate change can increase the amount of water vapour in the air, forming drops that join together to form heavy rainfall. Flash floods are caused by heavy rainfall that falls in a short period of time, while moderate rainfall can cause rivers and dams to overflow. However, even moderate rainfall is enough to cause a disaster, especially if the rain continues for a few days.
Impact of global warming on agriculture
These studies miss important dynamics that affect the total output of an agricultural system. However, the impact of climate change on agriculture is far more profound than the effects of global warming alone. These findings can be helpful for developing nations that have yet to implement policies to combat the impacts of climate change.
Climate models have been used to predict the effects of climate change on crop yields, as well as other economic impacts. In particular, Carbon Click dioxide levels increase the ability of plants to capture sunlight and retain water, increasing crop yields, though at a cost to the nutritional value of the crops. This effect is more pronounced with crops such as maize and wheat. Rising global temperatures are linked with changes in rainfall patterns, the duration of droughts, and the frequency of heat waves. These changes can have serious effects on crop health and accelerate the maturity process.