Explained: Climate change and how it will affect us
The world has been talking about climate change for years now. Leaders from around the world have taken initiatives and make promises to combat the effects of climate change. But before we know about these initiatives, it is crucial to understand the impact of the change and how it affects us.
What is climate change?
NASA described climate change as a change in the average conditions -- such as temperature and rainfall, in a region, over a long period. Scientists have observed that earth's surface is warming, and many of the warmest years on record have happened in the past 20 years.
This change is affecting the natural eco-system of the planet and abrupting its natural course of functioning.
The IPCC says a 1.5°C average rise may put 20-30 per cent of species at risk of extinction. If the planet warms by more than 2°C, most ecosystems will struggle.
Effects of climate change
The effect of climate change is seen in the polar regions in an amplified manner. Earth's polar regions -- north and south -- are crucial for regulating the climate. But due to an increase in the temperature, the ice in the polar regions is melting - affecting the overall planet and the survival of the exotic species of the region.
Oceans are known to be 'carbon sinks', as they are responsible for absorbing huge amounts of carbon dioxide and preventing it from reaching the upper atmosphere. But due to the increased water temperatures and higher carbon dioxide concentrations, oceans are becoming more acidic affecting the flora and fauna.
The impact of climate change on forests vary according to their region of origin. With the temperature rise, the sub-artic forests are shifting towards the north in search of cooler weathers. Where as, the tropical forests such as the Amazon, a store house of abundant biodiversity, are becoming extinct.
Increased rainfall, floods
Climate change is having serious impact on the world's water systems through more flooding and droughts. Warmer air can hold a higher water content, which makes rainfall patterns more extreme. This is the reason for the increase in extreme situations of droughts or floods.
How does climate change affect us?
Health - Respirator disorders, mental health issues, over all body damage due to increased exposure to CO2.
Food - Extra CO2 is speeding up photosynthesis and causing plants to grow with more sugar and less calcium, protein, zinc, and important vitamins.
Home - Flooding, droughts, increasing sea levels and decreasing forests causing displacement.