Global temperatures rise and fall in a naturally induced pattern (Natural Resources Defense Council, n.d.). This has, however, changed in the last century, and scientists have raised the red flag over the terrific rate at which global temperatures have risen in the past 50 years.
Heat-trapping gases have increased to a dangerous level as a result of human activities, and this has led to changes in atmospheric moisture, ocean heat content, precipitation, arctic sea ice and other aspects of the climate system. The natural greenhouse effect of greenhouse gases has been intensified by human activities, and the resulting climate change is an issue that has raised concern across the globe (Natural Resources Defense Council, n.d.).
The effects of global warming are felt not only in the environment, but also in the economy, transport systems and human health among other aspects of human and animal life. The earth’s air surface temperatures have risen since 1970, according to figures released by the US Global Change Research Programme (n.d.).
Precipitation patterns have changed, and the sea level has risen. The effects of changes in global temperatures are observed from occurrences such as the melting of arctic ice, decreasing snow cover, withdrawing mountain glaciers, changes in blooming patterns of plants among others. The implications of these changes on water supply are adverse, especially in densely populated areas (US Global Change Research Programme, n.d).
Ocean acidification has been on a sharp increase. This poses serious threats to marine life. It affects the calcification process, and many living organisms are unable to create healthy bones and shells. It also negatively affects coral reefs, planktons, mollusks and other species that are important in the ocean and sea food chains (US Global Change Research Programme, n.d).
The change in the ocean pH level affects many living organisms in the seas and oceans across the globe, and if this trend continues, it may eventually lead to the extinction of some species of sea life that will not survive the changes.
Global warming effects are being experienced the world over. There have been numerous changes in the weather patterns such as changes in temperatures, rain patterns, increased floods, falling of rain instead of snow among others. If the emission of heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere is not reduced significantly, global warming is set to continue, and more weather changes are expected.
Abnormal weather occurrences such as heat waves are expected to occur, and summers are expected to be hotter than usual. Abrupt weather changes are also thought to be on the way, and they may be so abrupt that humans, plants and other living organisms may not be able to adapt.
It is hard to accurately predict the full impact of global warming on the future, but scientists are already recording its effects not only on the transport systems, energy supply, agriculture, ecosystems and water resources, but also on human and animal health.
The challenges it poses to human health include; increase in diseases transmitted by insects, water and food, increased vulnerability of children, the poor and elderly to climate-related health complications, increased likelihood of illness and death resulting from extreme heat and heat waves. Humans and animals are also likely to contract respiratory diseases due to the increased pollution of the atmosphere, as well as increased cases of death as a result (Natural Resources Defense Council, n.d.).
Global warming is a phenomenon that has had serious effects on every aspect of human existence (Natural Resources Defense Council, n.d.). Its effects are felt in the economy, agriculture, climate changes and even in human health. It is a serious issue that cannot be ignored and every effort must be made in order to reduce or reverse its effects. If the current developments in human activities contributing to global warming do not change, then these climate changes will continue. Their effect on the future is not known with certainty but the there are indications that things could get worse than they are.
Natural Resources Defense Council (n.d.). An Introduction to Climate Change: What it Could Mean to You and Your Family.
US Global Change Research Programme (n.d). US Climate Impacts Report.