The Impacts of Global Warming on the Enviornment
Rising Sea Levels
This will exacerbate coastal flooding necessitating erection of higher coastal barriers; control by this method by the industrial nations is being acted upon. However, the poorer third world nations, especially those with low-lying tropical islands, cannot afford this protection, so they are likely to lose their homes to the sea.
Rising sea levels will also threaten many of the world's estuaries. Some of these estuaries have valuable ecosystems within their mudflats, which are supported by the freshwater from the rivers. The encroachment of saltwater into this habitat could do irreparable damage to its habitants, causing mass extinction of some species. This will escalate to the reduction of some already endangered species of permanent and migrating wildfowl, which depend on the mudflats for food.
Ingress of seawater into freshwater supplies has been predicted, which is bad enough in the western world, but is even more disastrous for the third world countries already suffering from lack of clean drinking water supplies.
Wind is predicted to increase in velocity causing structural damage, bringing down trees and power lines and causing storms at sea.
Rainfall is also forecasted to increase in winter but decrease in summer. We have already suffered from flooding over the last decade, and some of us have seen water rationing because of drought.
A predicted rise in the world’s temperature of 4οC will reduce our crop yields and will eventually lead to changes in current methods of crop cultivation, necessitating their replacement by more tropical suited varieties.
Finally, there have been recorded instances of spring being early by up to two weeks, totally confusing the wildlife population. Reports have also been made that some rivers are becoming too warm to support fish, especially salmon.
The glaciers exert an enormous pressure on the land they have been formed on. When they melt, this pressure is released and geologists believe this sudden release of pressure on the Earth is the cause of the recent increase in volcanic action, earthquakes, and tsunamis worldwide.
The species which may be already endangered can be exposed to flooding or drought, with the loss of their food chain and destruction of their habitats, eventually leading to extinction.