The Harmful Effects Of Global Warming

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The Harmful Effects of Global Warming

The Harmful Effects of Global Warming


Harmful effects from the phenomenon known as global warming include environmental, social, and economic effects. Environmental impacts include sea-level rise, melting of the polar ice caps, and an average increase in temperature. These impacts are documented in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), which commissions reports by scientists worldwide on the issue of climate change. The IPCC Report of 2007 is the first one that reflects scientific consensus that global warming is underway, and that it is primarily human induced. For example, human activities, such as fossil fuel burning, land-use changes, agricultural activity, and the production and use of halocarbons are among the factors causing climate change. The economic report by Nicholas Stern in 2007 highlights that climate change has potentially disastrous consequences for humanity. This paper discusses the harmful effects of global warming in a concise and comprehensive way.

The Harmful Effects of Global Warming

Followings are the harmful effects of global warming.

Temperature Variability

Solomon (2007) mentions that perhaps best known, is that temperature variability, specifically temperature increase, will be one of the effects of climate change. While the range of projections relating to temperature rise varies, the IPCC scenarios, using a range of climate models, predict overall a rise in globally-averaged surface temperature of 2.5-10 degrees F (1.4 to 5.8 degrees C) 1990-2100. While at local and regional levels this figure will vary, at a global level it is roughly 2-10 times larger than the observed warming of the 20th century, and is unprecedented during at least the last 10,000 years, based on paleoclimatic data (Solomon, 2007).

Warming of Water Masses

Key oceanic water masses are changing. Southern Ocean mode waters and Upper Circumpolar Deep Waters have warmed from the 1960s to about 2000 (Solomon, 2007). A comparable, but weaker pattern of warming in the Gulf Stream and Kuroshio mode waters in the North Atlantic and North Pacific has been observed. Long-term cooling is observed in the North Atlantic sub-polar gyre and in the central North Pacific.

Sea-Level Rise

Another predicted effect of climate change is an increase in sea level. Sea-level rise is caused by thermal expansion of the oceans, melting of glaciers and ice caps, melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, and changes in terrestrial storage. Changes in sea level will be felt through increases in intensity and frequency of storm surges and coastal flooding; increased salinity ...
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