Global warming is defined as the proliferation in the average climate of the earth. Since the abrupt end of Ice Age, the earth’s climate has been through phenomenal changes and these changes are considered to be more anthropogenic rather than a part of the natural cycle. It is a very grave environmental issue that has sparked attentions and concerns.
The consequences of global warming are apparent in all parts of the world. Most countries are more hard-hit than others because of the amount of greenhouse gases [GHG] they release into the atmosphere. These manifestations are obvious in the form of melting ice glaciers, rising sea levels, severe droughts, unusual weather patterns and wildlife extinction.
The melting of ice caps is one of the serious impacts of global warming. Owing to an increase in the world climate, ice caps of North and South Poles, Antarctica and Greenland are gradually disappearing, along with mountain glaciers. NASA reported that ice caps are melting at the rate of nine percent per decade. Also, ice thickness of the Arctic has reduced by forty percent since 1960.
Rising sea levels is another grim issue. This is happening due to the melting of ice caps and as well as thermal expansion of oceans. Low-lying coastal areas and islands are particularly vulnerable to disappearing under water.
Global warming also increases the frequency of droughts. Evapotranspiration makes dry areas drier; hence, there is decreased precipitation, cultivation and little or no rainfall.
There are also periods of unusual weather pattern in many parts of the world. Warm temperatures increase likelihood of droughts and with higher evaporation, more wild fires are likely to break out in forests. Moreover, there are higher possibilities of powerful rainstorms. Warm ocean water propels energy into tropical storms, making them dangerously intense and catastrophic. There is also heavy rainfall in many parts of the world which inundates infrastructure and destroys life.
Last but not the least, much of wildlife has gone extinct as a consequence of climate change and it is predicted if the issue is not curbed, animals could die out forever. Animals are adjusted to a certain climate. With a drastic change in temperature, their bodies become incapable of habitation; hence, they either migrate or die. Animals such as the dodo, mammoth and Eastern Couber have become extinct. Polar bears in Alaska are forecasted to die out by 2050 if global warming does not cease.