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If we want to address global warming, along with the other environmental problems associated with our continued rush to burn our precious fossil fuels as quickly as possible, we must learn to use our resources more wisely, kick our addiction, and quickly start turning to sources of energy that have fewer negative impacts, David Suzuki.
What does this mean?
It refers to the rise in the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans.
“Without further commitments and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the world is likely to warm up by more than 3°C above the pre-industrial climate. If the currently planned actions are not fully implemented a 4°C rise in temperature could occur as early as the 2060s,” Turn down the heat, The World Bank.
What could this level of Global Warming mean?
- “A dramatic increase in the intensity and frequency of high-temperature extremes. Recent extreme heat waves […] are likely to become the new normal summer in a 4°C world”, Turn down the heat, The World Bank
- Rising sea levels will dramatically influence landscapes and the global population. Global warming affects sea levels because water increases in volume as it warms and melts glaciers in mountains and polar ice caps. Coastal areas such as the Netherlands and Bangladesh will be permanently flooded, causing people to leave their homes.
- Global warming will worsen global food shortages since it reduces crop production and will exacerbate water shortages. As a terrible consequence, tensions and conflicts over water between countries are likely to break out soon.
- It poses threats to global biodiversity and many ecosystems such as coral reefs and tropical rainforests. “Biodiversity is currently being lost at an unprecedented rate at all levels. Just one single measure of this loss is the rate of species extinctions,” Potential impacts of climate change on ecosystems: a review of implications for policy-makers and conservation biologists, Adam Markham.
- Global warming is increasing the frequency and severity of extreme weather events like droughts, hurricanes, and tornadoes around the world.
- It will also damage economic growth. It has been estimated that 2.5°C of global warming would cost the world between 0.2 percent and 2 percent of its annual income.
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