Ways extreme climate changes are already causing threats to humans
Climate change can also lead to mass migration due to drought, livestock deaths, water scarcity, flooding or other climate-related disasters.Author : A. Gayatri
Climate change has been one topic of discussion at every International forum, several countries signing in pacts for roadmaps showing how they would deal with the intensified change in the environment. Changes in the climate have not only endangered the species on the earth but are also causing a tremendous amount of harm to humankind.
Last week in the Pacific Northwest a record-breaking temperature of 47.9 Celsius degrees was reported in British Columbia, Canada along with the wildfires catching in forests were also reported. At the same time, New Delhi, India too reported a heatwave with a temperature going up to 41 degrees Celsius. Five Middle East nations in June recorded a shocking temperature of 50 degrees Celsius. Meanwhile, in Pakistan 20 children collapsed due to the heat and needed immediate treatment for heat stress.
Scientists say more greenhouse gas emissions means extreme heatwaves will increase more likely in coming times.
The rise in an intense heatwave over the usual range in a region may not only differ but disrupt the economy to deaths in young and old. When temperature and humidity both are high, the condition will become unlivable for humans and is the most immediate thing that needs a global effort to combat or else the earth area will rapidly turn uninhabitable.
Large scale climatic changes have already pervaded our daily lives, which is affecting our health, eating habits and the air we breathe. The frequency of weather events is also influencing food prices, our travel plans, and drinking water.
Things humans depend upon for survival - water, ecosystem, wildlife, transportation, energy, agriculture and overall well-being are experiencing implications of changing climatic conditions.
Ecosystems are getting affected by climate change leading to modification in habitats, change in natural events like flowering, egg-laying, slowing the process of growth in the ecosystem.
Carbon emission is a cause of damage to aquatic life.
The emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels is making oceans and water bodies acidic, which in turn is posing danger to aquatic life. Oceans absorb 30% of Co2 from the atmosphere. The rise in sea levels because of thermal expansion and melting of ice sheets and glaciers is putting the coastal areas at risk of erosion and surge in storms. India is already facing untimely cyclonic winds killing and drawing away hundreds of coastal dwellers.
Water scarcity and change in water quality leading to worse days.
Water is one natural resource without which humans can't survive. Droughts, particularly in the western United States, Africa and southern parts of India, have already made people's lives miserable. Snow accumulation in the mountains is a necessity for the West and Alaska, as a snowpack stores water for later uses, however, less natural snow formation is impacting lives there. Heavy untimely downpours, floods, changes in water quality due to climate change will in the coming times get even worse.
Affect on food supply and increasing costs of agriculture.
The shift in climate natural operation would also come heavy on people's pockets. Our food supply depends on the climate and good weather conditions. Though due to modernisation, agricultural practices have become adaptable, yet changes like increased temperatures, water alkalinity and acidic levels, diseases and weather extremes create challenges for the farmers who provide food on our tables. The cost of agriculture may also increase to meet the global demand for food production. Farmers might have to irrigate areas that once used to receive abundant rains, this would directly raise food prices. Crop failures, livestock deaths and grains getting spoiled due to extreme weather conditions may lead to food inflation. Vulnerable livestock may require a cool place to survive, while weeds, pests, and fungi thrive under warmer, Co2 and wetter places, therefore, this may again increase the cost of agriculture.
Overpopulation demands more scraping of resources.
Overpopulation is another potential problem that is causing the fast exhaustion of resources, to accommodate every soul on earth - water, land and food are being overused. Improper distribution of population demands more consumption of resources in particular regions, leading to depletion of the available supply. It is also depriving the people living in distant places of many important goods and materials. Therefore, states must come up with reasonable population laws, to check the balance.
Human health is getting more prone to diseases and physical conditions.
Human health directly gets impacted due to changes in the climate. Alteration in the environment's pattern can lead to rising heat stress, more waterborne illness, poor air quality and diseases transmitted through insects and rodents. Extreme climatic occurrences can combine many of these health dangers. People in northern India, especially in New Delhi, die more from hazardous air quality, while several suffer from breathing issues, lung problems, bronchitis, etc.
Dissettlement and frequent natural calamities leading to mass migration.
Climate change can also lead to mass migration due to drought, livestock deaths, water scarcity, flooding or other climate-related disasters.
Climate change is increasing daily expenditure.
Natural disasters like a rise in sea level, floods, droughts, wildfires, and extreme storms will require substantial repair of property damage such as homes, roads, bridges, railroad tracks, airport runways, power lines, dams, levees, and seawalls and this would heavily impact on people and states expenditure.
Increase in cost of livelihood.
The cost of living will also increase with changes in climate as state governments will have to find ways to cope with changing weather patterns. For example, they will have to ensure that houses are more energy-efficient, for which taxes may increase and housing costs might rise.
Impact on marine life leading to disruption of the food supply chain.
Marine life is already experiencing serious effects of global warming, which has altered the plankton and marine food chain, resulting from the pressure of overfishing. Many species are on the verge of extinction and this disturbance of the ecosystem could be devastating for the fishing industry and the communities that depend on it. It would also affect the distribution of food supply and prices.
Extinction of natural species and woodlands.
Forests and woodlands have been modified. Several tree species are adapted to a particular temperature and moisture conditions, habitats become incompatible for saplings to grow. Species like, sugar maple that grows in certain regions of the US and Canada may be hardly found in place of rarely seen.
Enough damage has already been done to the environment and earth, thus, global economies must seriously strive together to bring some stringent laws to battle global warming that is causing and will in the future result in great harm to mankind. Resource distribution should be done mindfully, while people should also start adopting ways to minimize wastage.
Sustainable and simple living must be acquired by people so that the next generation doesn't encounter challenges of scarcity of resources.
Careful use of energy like electricity, water consumption and reduction in waste, food habits and regulations in the fuel use may create less harm to the atmosphere.
Plantation is the most effective way to control toxic air and maintain balance in the ecosystem.