The Horrors of Climate Change
To most people when the word ‘horror’ comes to mind, they would probably refer to a horror movie or a scary episode. However, personally when I relate to ‘horror’, I reflect on climate change and its disastrous consequences that endanger physical, biological and human systems.
Climate change is the dissimilarity in the Earth’s global climate or in geographical climates over time. Climate change happens due to the changes in the conditions of the atmosphere over the years.
Some of the causes of climate change are movements inside the Earth, impacts from the Earth’s exterior and probably the most damaging – human activities. As a whole, climate change causes damaging effects on animals, the environment and agriculture.
Firstly, the disruption of habitat is one of the major impacts of climate change. Habitat disruptions are frequently due to temperature changes and the availability of water. This affects the native vegetation and wildlife that depend on food and water for survival. Some animals that are affected the most include polar bears, arctic foxes, caribous, pandas, green turtles, penguins and elephants.
Secondly, climate change affects the environment. According to NASA, effects of the results of climate change that scientists had foreseen formerly are now transpiring. Those effects are loss of sea ice, accelerated rising of sea levels and more powerful heat waves.
The rise in temperature affects the functions of the environment. This means that the nutrient cycles are at a risk resulting in soil infertility. Explicitly, as soils become dryer, it impacts the nitrogen and carbon concentrations which is the main elements for plant growth.
In addition, there is a huge possibility that landscapes are changing due to climate change. The rapid growth of pests is a result of the temperature change. As regions grow warmer and warm periods last longer, some pests breed more frequently.
The air quality is also affected by climate change. According to a study, more than half of the world’s population will be unprotected from progressive stagnant atmospheric conditions. This includes the tropics and subtropics enduring the harsh poor air quality.
Lastly, climate change cause impacts on agriculture. Agricultural activity is affected by increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, the rise in temperatures and changed precipitation patterns. Effects of yearly and perennial crops vary but every production system will be affected to some extent. The span and quality of the growing season will be affected and the increasing concentration of drought, flooding and fires will have a devastating effect on harvests.
These are just some of the impacts of a climate change and we owe it to ourselves to do our best to reduce our carbon footprints and to save the earth by investing in renewable energy and sustainable energy-efficient buildings and infrastructure.
This article is contributed by Namirah Sumardi from the School of Media & Communications.