The Seriousness of Global Warming
Columbia Southern University
The Seriousness of Global Warming
One of the most controversial and popular environmental topics is the effects of global warming on the planet. Although global warming has become a more talked about issue in the last few years, scientists have been warning the world for a long time about the devastating impact that human related greenhouse gases is having and will continue to have on the environment. Many do not realize the how global warming affects the environment. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the effects of global warming on the weather, overall health, and on wildlife. Global Warming on Weather Patterns
The increase in water temperatures in the ocean has generated more energy into what used to be normal tropical storms, causing them not only to be more frequent, but a lot stronger and sometimes very destructive. As we have seen within the last decade, there has been a marked increase in the number of hurricanes at the four and five category level. For instance, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005 and was said to be the second strongest and one of the deadliest hurricanes ever recorded in the U.S. The loss to the economy was a whopping $125 billion (“Weather Patterns,” n.d.).
In addition to the hurricanes, the warmer temperatures have led to drought conditions and the increase of fires throughout the western United States. In 2006, new records were set in the amount of reported fires as well as acres burned (“Weather Patterns,” n.d.). The cost for fighting these fires has been increasing yearly in the amount of $1 billion. Another effect of global warming is the intense rainstorms that we have been experiencing. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports the increase is due mostly to human-induced global warming (“Weather Patterns,” n.d.). These heavy downpours have made the U.S more vulnerable to flooding. They also contribute to washing pathogens from contaminated soil in to our drinking water supplies. In 1993 an outbreak of diarrhea occurred because the parasite cryptosporidium washed into the city’s drinking water, affecting approximately 403,000 people (“Weather Patterns,” n.d.). Global Warming on Health
Global warming is also the cause of some health issues in the world. There have been more frequent heat waves with a substantial loss of live. In 2003 the extreme heat waves caused as many as 70,000 lives in Europe and nearly 15,000 lives in France during a two week period. With the constant increase in temperature, we will experience even more heat related deaths in the near future. The extreme hot conditions could possibly increase smog pollution which intensifies pollen allergies and asthma (“Health,” n.d.). Studies have shown that the higher the level of carbon dioxide the more you see an increase in the growth of pollenated weeds, which triggers allergies and exacerbates asthma. Again, as with the rainstorms, this could also be an effect of human-caused climate change (“Health,” n.d.).
Another health related issue within the global warming is the disruption of the ecosystem and the periods of drought that have contributed to more outbreaks of infectious diseases to include malaria, dengue fever, tick-borne encephalitis, and other illnesses. The reason for this is due to fact that mosquitoes tend to survive better doing the warm temperatures, thus will have more opportunities to bite and infect people (“Health,” n.d.). Global Warming on Wildlife
Global warming has also been harmful to the wildlife. Some species that cannot adapt to the warming temperatures could become extinct in the near future. It has been noted that some polar bears are being forced to swim longer distances to reach ice floes and unfortunately this has caused some of them to drown. Surveys conducted predict that two thirds of the...