Is Climate Change the Most Serious Environmental Threat We Face

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 83
  • Published : June 9, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
Al Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize has increased the awareness of one of the most pressing issues of our time, global climate change. The growth in public awareness on this issue has been nothing short of extraordinary. In two decades the issue has come from the obscurity of science journals to the headlines of major newspapers. The money poured into reducing the impact of climate change and adapting to its inevitable effects has been equally extraordinary, and though never enough to address the sheer enormity of the climate change threat, or to protect the most vulnerable from its impending effects, the response does heed real promise. But in the coming years climate change alone will not be the only major environmental threat that we face on a global scale. Climate change is a major driver of global environmental change but it is also a part of a complex and intertwined ecosystem that rests in a delicate balance. Several strong interlinkages between climate change and other key environmental problems are likely to be the next-generation-issue. Climate change is having a major impact on biodiversity and in turn biodiversity loss (in the form of loss of carbon sequestrating trees and plants) is a major driver of climate change. Land degradation such as soil erosion, deteriorating soil quality and desertification are driven by climate variability such as changes in rainfall, droughts and floods. Degraded land releases more carbon and greenhouse gasses back into the atmosphere and slowly kills off forests and other biodiversity that can sequester carbon, creating a feedback loop that intensifies climate change. Water degradation is exacerbated by climate change as it plays havoc with the hydrological cycle, destabilizing ground water tables, altering the levels of nutrients and sediment in the water and ultimately increasing biodiversity loss and leading to further land degradation. Chemicals discharged into the soil, waterways, and oceans are having a broader impact as...
tracking img