Climate change is no longer a distant threat; it’s a pressing reality with far-reaching consequences for our planet and its inhabitants. Over the past century, average global temperatures have risen by approximately degree Celsius, primarily due to human activities that release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These gases trap heat, causing a gradual warming effect that disrupts the Earth’s delicate climate balance.
The impacts of climate change are already being felt worldwide, from melting glaciers and rising sea levels to more frequent and extreme weather events like heatwaves, droughts, floods, and wildfires. These changes are not only environmental; they also have significant social and economic repercussions, displacing communities, disrupting food production, and threatening vulnerable ecosystems.
Here are some of the key concerns associated with climate change:
Rising Sea Levels: As the planet warms, thermal expansion and melting glaciers cause sea levels to rise. This threatens coastal communities, low-lying islands, and infrastructure with inundation and erosion.
Extreme Weather Events: Climate change intensifies weather patterns, leading to more frequent and severe heatwaves, droughts, floods, and storms. These events can cause widespread damage to property, infrastructure, and agriculture, and pose risks to human health and safety.
Melting Glaciers and Ice Sheets: The Earth’s glaciers and ice sheets are melting at an alarming rate, contributing to sea level rise and disrupting freshwater supplies for millions of people.
Ocean Acidification: As the oceans absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, they become more acidic. This harms marine life, disrupts food chains, and threatens the livelihoods of communities that depend on fishing.
Biodiversity Loss: Climate change is a major driver of biodiversity loss, pushing species towards extinction and disrupting the delicate balance of ecosystems.