Climate change is topping the list of most trending world topics in our present day. It is a phenomenon that gained prominence not so long ago, with the emergence of unusual weather conditions and natural occurrences. As a result of its global significance, it is a subject debated all over the world by all walks of life and all religions. Aside those who have witnessed the drastic and glaring effects of climate change, a lot of other commoners still think it’s a palaver that is existing in the mind with no direct significance to their own lives. They continue thinking that it is very far from them and has very scarce possibilities of affecting them, thereby giving it the least or even none of their attention. A lot of people also think it is a natural phenomenon which we should fold our arms and watch in awe, having nothing to do towards reducing them. Well, this is very far from the truth, as climate change has touched every part of the world, though in varying degrees. The fact is that no matter how infinitesimal the change seems to be, it is affecting the everyday life of all creatures and needs to be checked.
Major Impacts of Climate Change
Before discussing how climate change affects our lives, I’ll love to first of all mention the major changes that it brings about. Some of them include the depletion of the ozone layer, alteration in normal weather conditions and seasons, melting ice sheets and rising sea levels,
It is however important to point out that Climate change is a phenomena with ripple effects, often affecting a number of distant things to the extent that it looks absurd to connect the end results to the initial causes of climate change. This is the major reason why most people either fail to acknowledge the significant effects of climate change or view the warnings by environmentalist as exaggerated. As the Earth keeps getting warmer, the negative effects are expected to outweigh the positive ones. All the negative effects of climate change are directly or indirectly linked to one another though caused by different events altogether. Here are the various dangers climate change poses to our everyday existence with or without our conscious notice:
1. Food scarcity and Price Hike
Food prices are rising as climate change makes it more dicey to maintain the specific conditions crops need to thrive. With the more frequent occurrences of extreme weather conditions such as drought, flood, storms, heat waves, erosion, wild fires, volcanic eruptions, etc, crop yield continue to deteriorate and fail, resulting to food scarcity. Overall precipitation patterns are also altering, bringing droughts to some parts of the world and floods to others. In some places, the mild effect is food scarcity in turn results to increase in the prices of the limited available ones, while in some others, it may strong effects such as famine. Hence, when you enter the local nearby market to get one or two things for use, you should not keep wondering why the prices of goods are skyrocketing within very short intervals.
2. Water and Air Pollution
Climate change works in a cycle in that while some earth processes result in climate change, climate change also lead to some other disastrous earth processes. Among other examples is that of volcanic eruptions. During and after an eruption, gases that are dangerous to human health are released into the atmosphere. Some of its major aftermaths, especially on those who are close to the place of occurrence include: respiratory, eye and skin related illnesses. The incredible aspect of this is that these gases have the ability to travel thousands of miles from where they are released and affects us and our environment in diverse ways, and in a magnitude beyond our widest imagination.
In the aspect of portable water supply, we are running short of it as time goes on because extreme heat are drying up water bodies or making the temperature harmful to aquatics to the extent that they die, contaminating the water. On other occasions, floods and other disasters completely make some water bodies unusable as a result of dirt deposits. The water scarcity being experienced in some parts of the world could also be as a result of increased for the purposes of cooling and hydration.
Also see: Africa’s Largest Lake: Facts and Figures
3. Increase in number of Ailments and Spread of Diseases
Heat waves, severe storms, air pollution, and diseases linked to climate already threaten people’s health in many areas of the world. As the globe gets warmer, new ailments that have scarcely been in existence continue to increase. Heat-related summer deaths and skin cancers, respiratory illnesses, air-based allergies, etc, are some of the most trending. Most of the diseases that are on the increase are heat related or air and water-borne – air pollution has been linked to a to a long list of health ailments, including asthma, heart and lung damage, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, heat stroke, etc. In addition, disease carrying insects that survive more during hit weather would thrive more, resulting to more ailments. A typical example of such is malaria, transmitted by the mosquito.
Moreover, the psychological of this environmental chaos cause by climate change has been discovered to cause some ailments such as depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, other mental problems, and heart attacks.
4. More Energy Demand – Unstable Power Supply
As I earlier said, climate change operates in a cycle. As the earth gets warmer, more energy is demanded – more fuels are burnt for heat to keep people less warm(especially, electric power) and they in turn emit into the atmosphere gases that cause more warming and it continues to get worse. With the kind of erratic rainfalls being witnesses in some parts of the world recently, electric power supply has been at stake – incessant power outages has been the common result, especially in developing countries.
Climate change which in some cases dry up water bodies will make it harder to produce hydro-electric power thereby causing epileptic power supply and demand for other sources of energy which in most cases also have adverse effects on the environment.
5. Impoverished Economy
Billions and trillions have continued to be drained by this trending phenomenon called climate change. Its channels of draining the economy are so numerous that time and space cannot contain the enumeration. However, I’ll give a few examples to buttress my point. From a general point of view, sectors that rely strongly on certain temperatures and precipitation levels such as agriculture, forestry, energy and travel/tourism are particularly affected by the changing unfavourable climate. Production and maintenance cost have so much risen as a result of the various inconveniences caused by adverse weather conditions. Rising ocean levels will cover some of the coastline used for recreation, businesses and human habitation. The Mayan Empire, for instance, did not disappear “mysteriously”; it likely fell into decline owing to decades of drought that ruined its agricultural base and deprived its cities of drinking water.
On the other hand, countries are as well losing huge sums of money to taking care of the massive aftermath of disasters brought about by climate change which include among others, damage to property, infrastructure and human health.
6. Migration and Displacement
This is one of the most colossal effects of climate change in our world today. There is increased influx of people from affected zones to seemingly safer parts of the world. A lot of migrants end up losing their lives in the bid to escape climate crises. Some of these modern cities such as Shanghai that are sitting on water would be abandoned if this warming persists and sea level rises beyond what could be manageable.
You may be wondering why you find it extremely difficult to secure an affordable accommodation in the city. You should not be surprised as great number of people are leaving the rural areas to the urban in order to escape the difficulties prevalent in the hinterlands majorly because they depend to a great extent on the natural environment and cannot continue to survive there once there is a disaster. The heat wave and monsoon floods that hit some parts of India consecutively some months ago mostly affected those living in the rural areas, who lack basic necessities of life. While some people voluntarily migrate, some others are completely displaced from their homes, depending on the magnitude of the weather disaster. Consequently, the cities experience population explosion which in turn results to other innumerable incidents that adversely affect our daily existence. According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, more than 42 million people were displaced in Asia and the Pacific during 2010 and 2011.
7. Death and Extinction of Animal Species
Most plants and animals live in areas with very specific climate conditions, such as temperature and rainfall patterns, that enable them to thrive. Unfortunately, climate change is happening so fast that many plants and animal species are struggling to cope. As extreme heat and droughts become increasingly common, wild fires that go through drought-stricken land spread more quickly and burn longer, destroying forests and homes, public recreation spaces and grasslands. Killing wildlife and valuable species of animals. Many terrestrial, freshwater and marine species have already moved to new locations. Some plant and animal species will be at increased risk of extinction if global average temperatures continue to rise unchecked. According to research, if the Earth keeps getting warmer, up to one–fourth of all the plants and animals on Earth could become extinct within 100 years. And this affects our lives in one way or the other as every specie of living thing is meant to contribute to the well-being of the ecosystem in one way or the other.
Moreover, some animal species such as the turtles, whose nest temperature determines the sex of the offspring stand the risk of extinction with time as hot temperature persists. This is because s cooler nest hatches only males while a warmer nest is all females.
8. Transportation Mishaps
Our various means of transportation has been drastically affected by unusual weather conditions – none is an exception. The roads and bridges damage more easily now, causing a lot of auto crashes, there are more plane crashes, more ship accidents in which thousands of lives are lost annually.
9. Building Collapse
Climate change is already affecting foundations of buildings as the soil dries out, according to the Building Research Establishment. The government is also considering new regulations, particularly for tall buildings, so they can withstand higher wind speeds. More incidence of building collapse has been witnessed in this era of significant climate change than any other time in history.
It is true that conflicts, violence and insecurity are often caused by multiple interconnected factors, climate change has been discovered to be a contributing factor, especially in already turbulent areas. In Britain, Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett has argued that “An unstable climate will exacerbate some of the core drivers of conflict, such as migratory pressures and competition for resources. According to further studies, if climate change persists, the greatest threat would come from “large-scale migrations of people — both inside nations and across existing national borders.
Examples of previous climate change-induced conflicts are: War in Darfur, where persistent drought triggered conflict between herdsmen and farmers; Syrian Civil War, which erupted after the displacement of 1.5 million people due to drought-induced crop and livestock failure; Islamist insurgency in Nigeria, unfairly utilized natural resource shortages to fuel anti-government sentiment; Somali Civil War, in which chaos and violence were associated to droughts and excessively hot temperatures.