Science and technology have had a significant contribution toward shaping the modern world. From the rampant rise of industries to the invention of the internet - tech innovations of various kinds have made our lives more convenient and comfortable. But this rapid advancement is coming at a heavy price.
Climate change - it's a topic that has been (literally) burning the world for many years now. From rising global temperatures to dwindling marine ecosystems - climate change has been manifesting in various ways for decades.
However, for most people, the effects of climate change are too abstract to be perceived in their daily lives. If you think that it's only a problem that's affecting the polar regions, oceans, and forests, you're not alone.
After all, what harm could climate change cause to an average person sheltered in their plush city home that's equipped with smart lighting, temperature control, and other paraphernalia? Well, you couldn't have been more wrong.
Whether you're living in an upscale city or a coastal town, it's only a matter of time before the dangerous repercussions of climate change will come to haunt you. In this blog, we'll explore a few ways in which climate change is affecting the planet and how it'll impact your life. Let's get started.
Altered Weather Patterns
Have you noticed how the summers are warmer than usual? And the winters aren't as long as they used to be, right? Use any weather app or website to check Kansas City or Overland Park weather and compare the current temperature data with that from a few years back.
You'll find that the present average temperature is at least a few degrees higher than it used to be in previous years. Worse still, if you monitor the individual seasons in any city or county, you'll find that the seasonal cycle has started becoming erratic.
In case you haven't guessed it yet, these are all effects of increasing temperatures due to climate change. Global warming and the greenhouse effect have been causing the earth to become warmer by a few degrees every year.
According to the NOAA 2019 Global Climate Summary, the average rate of temperature rise between 1981 and 2019 has been twice the rate of increase between 1880 and 1980. Are you wondering how all this is going to affect you?
Apart from the general discomfort of the warmer weather, extreme summer heat creates the ideal environment for water-borne diseases, such as diarrhea and typhoid. Also, the increased temperature facilitates smog formation, which, in turn, pollutes the air and causes a vast range of respiratory disorders.
Sea Level Rise
Unless you're living under a rock, you must have already found out that the polar ice caps and glaciers, as well as sea and freshwater ice, are rapidly melting due to global warming. This, in turn, is causing the ocean and sea levels to rise in multiple regions.
Moreover, when the layer of sea ice melts, it exposes darker ocean water, which, in turn, absorbs more sunlight and ultimately, heats the ocean even further. This creates a vicious and unending loop of melting and heating, further increasing the water level.
Also, the oceans are heating up due to the rise in the earth's temperature. This, in turn, is causing them to expand, further contributing to the rise in sea levels. In fact, 1/3rd of the rise in global mean sea level has happened only in the last 25 odd years.
The most obvious outcome of seal level rise is the increased frequency and intensity of coastal flooding. Other effects include coastal erosion, wetland flooding, and contamination of agricultural land. Rising water levels in coastal regions also worsen the impact of severe storms.
All these factors could contribute towards immense infrastructural damage, as well as insurmountable deaths. Also, it increases the likelihood of extreme events, such as tsunamis, and adversely affects the natural habitat of aquatic plants and animals. Likewise, it leaves many land animals and birds homeless.
Extreme Weather Events
With six major hurricanes making landfall in the U.S. in 2020, it's been one of the most active Atlantic hurricane seasons the country has witnessed. In case you're wondering what's behind this gradual increase in the occurrence of natural disasters, such as storms and hurricanes, it's climate change.
To begin with, as summers get warmer, the likelihood of intense heat waves increases. Apart from causing loss of lives, it also increases the evaporation of water from rivers and seas. This, in turn, acts as a catalyst for storms, cyclones, and hurricanes. Sea level rise further exacerbates this problem.
Likewise, naturally arid regions become more susceptible to the other end of the spectrum, which includes droughts and wildfires. Apart from destroying the natural ecosystem, it also causes catastrophic damage to agriculture. This, in turn, could disrupt the food supply chain and result in food shortages.
Irrespective of whether you realize it now, every impact of climate change is gradually disrupting our lives. It's about time you make a conscious effort to adopt greener energy alternatives and reduce your carbon footprint to minimize the adverse consequences of climate change.
Have you taken any steps to combat the effects of climate change? Share your experience in the comments section below.