By Abhijit Naik/30/11/2011
Global warming is one of the most serious environmental issues threatening the very existence of various plants and animal species on the planet. Over the last 100 years, the global near-surface temperatures has increased by 0.32SF as a result of various natural as well as anthropogenic causes of global warming. That being said, one also needs to take into consideration that the natural causes of global warming play a crucial role in stabilizing the temperature of the planet - and without them Earth would have been freezing cold and unsuitable for human habitation. More importantly, global warming statistics also reveal that the rate at which it is occurring has increased manifolds over the last few years, and if the same trends continue we will experience a rise of 2.0 to 11.5°F on the planet by the end of this century. When we talk about the effects and consequences of global warming on the environment, we refer to its effects on various attributes of environment - which includes flora fauna and humans. Basically, these effects of global warming on various lifeforms on the planet are attributed to climate change triggered by incessantly increasing global near-surface temperatures. The most prominent global warming effects on weather include extreme weather conditions - such as frequent droughts, heat waves, devastating hurricanes etc., all of which in turn affect various lifeforms on the planet. Given below are the details of global warming effects on planet Earth - with special emphasis on its effects on plants. animals and humans.
There is absolutely no doubt about the fact that global warming will affect terrestrial as well as marine plants. The endangered plants list is already quite lengthy and several other species are expected to join it if global warming continues unabated. Given are some gruesome global warming effects on plants. Global warming will result in more wildfires, thus resulting in depletion of already dwindling forest cover across the world. The growing season for various species of plants has been altered over the last few years, and this is going to worsen with time. As a result of lack of favorable condition the ability of reproduction of several plant species will be affected, which will limit the number of these plants and eventually result in their extinction. Plant migration is yet another obvious global warming effect on Earth. Several plant species are migrating to regions with cold climate - towards the temperate region and high altitudes, wherein conditions seem to be favorable as of now. Global warming will worsen the spread of invasive plants across the world - a problem which is expected to cost millions of dollars to control. Plants act as natural cooling agents on the planet by releasing water from stomata - the tiny spores from which they absorb carbon dioxide. Their ability to act as cooling agents will be hampered - as too much of carbon dioxide in atmosphere will shrink these spores. and this will cause the environment to heat more.
It is believed that one-third of the animal species present on the planet today will become extinct by 2050 as a result of global warming and climate change and the list of extinct animals in the last 100 years validates this fact pretty well. Given is a list of some gruesome global warming effects on animals across the world. Melting polar ice will result in habitat destruction for polar animals such as the polar bears, Arctic fox, penguins etc. In fact, the effects of global warming on polar bears have already started to show with a significant fall in population of this species in their natural habitat. Rise in the temperature of ocean water will destroy the coral reefs, thus resulting in destruction of the marine ecosystem which is dependent on the coral reefs to a great extent. Rise in sea level will also affect the salinity of water, and this will hamper the growth of mangroves - which...