The Impact of Global Warming & What’s being Done so Far

On Earth Day, the importance of taking action is highlighted as climate change is having a significant effect.

The average temperature of the Earth has increased by more than 1C during the last twenty years. And global warming is affecting the planet, and yet it seems little is being done to prevent things from getting worse.

The oceans, which cover nearly 70% of the Earth’s surface, have a reciprocal relationship with global climate and the weather patterns. However, oceans tend to influence regional and weather conditions around the world, and changes in the climate can also equally have impacts on the oceans.

The Oceans absorb about 90% of the extra energy from greenhouse gas effects resulting in ocean warming at depths of 1,000 meters. And this alternatively led to consequences such as enhanced ocean warming and stratification – where seawater naturally forms stratified layers with lighter waters near the surface and denser waters at greater depth – variability in ocean regimes, and modification of ocean habitats and ecosystems.

How is climate change affecting the planet?

With climate change already having a significant effect on the planet, and the Earth’s average temperature has increased by more than 1ºC in just the 20th and 21st century. And its a critical issue for us and we need drastic measures.

According to Nasa: “Two degrees (Farenheit) may sound like nothing but it’s an unusual event in our planet’s recent history.

“Earth’s climate record, preserved in tree rings, ice cores, and coral reefs, shows that the global average temperature is stable over long periods of time. Furthermore, small changes in temperature correspond to enormous changes in the environment.”

“For example, at the end of the last ice age, when the north-east United States was covered by more than 3,000 feet of ice, average temperatures were only five to nine degrees cooler than today.”

Climate change had already had significant effects on the environment. And this have led to the melting of glaciers and land ice, causing rising sea levels, further leading to erosions, saltwater intrusion as well as destruction of coastal habitats and shorelines. 

What are some impacts of climate change?

Climate change has impacted and continue to impact our very existence in:

  • Limited water supplies
  • Conflict and climate migrants
  • Localised flooding
  • Flooding of coastal regions
  • Damage to marine ecosystems
  • Fisheries failing
  • Loss of biodiversity
  • Change in seasonality
  • Food insecurity
  • Heat stress
  • Habitable region of pests expands
  • Forest mortality and increased risk of fires
  • Damage to infrastructure

The increasing impacts of deforestation, agricultural runoff, overexploitation of marine resources, overfishing and more also weaken marine ecosystems of the world. Extreme weather such as droughts and heatwaves can also be devastating for crops.

It is said that the rising temperatures and increasingly severe heatwaves, droughts and floods are already affecting plants and animal species, like coral reefs struggling to survive.

“The rise in weather and climate extremes has led to some irreversible impacts as natural and human systems are pushed beyond their ability to adapt,” the panel said.

To come to a conclusion, greenhouse warming has complex and severe impacts on the ocean and land. Therefore it is important that the environment in general, be protected from the consequences of global warming.