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Effects of Climate Changes

Figure from:Weather Online Asia

Probable influences greenhouse gases may have on future climatesDuring the many warm periods in Earth's climate history, greenhouse gases were also higher in amount. Even without human interference, nature has it's own cycle, and no organism can evade it. However, what humans nowadays have to face is that the excess release of greenhouse gases might have already, or will destroy natures balance, leaving future generations a ruined future.

If the concentration of greenhouse gases continues to increase, the ground temperature will increase, causing changes in the climate, including:

(A)Rising Sea Levels

Melting ice in the artic region


Rising temperatures causing icebergs to slowly melt

Figure from:Zhong Guo Ke Pu

Because of increases in global temperature, the polar ice caps will melt, glaciers in mountains will start to regress, the volume of ocean water will increase, and the sea level will rise, causing coastline areas to be flooded. The biggest victims of rising sea level will be small islands in the Pacific Ocean, and countries with many lowlands, like Holland and Bangladesh. Other places with lowlands will also be affected.

In fact, these nightmares are already starting to appear. English newspaper, "The Independent" pointed out on November 29th, 2000, that the Papua New Guinea government in South East Asia has asked residents of the Duke of York Island to move to islands with higher grounds. It was reported that the Duke of York Island, which is located between the New Britain and New Ireland Islands, was only 3.65 meters above sea level, and the sea level was rising by 30 cm a year. The senior officer of New Britain Island noticed this immediate danger and ordered the relocation. This has been the first incident worldwide of residents of an area being forced to move because of possible flooding of their homes caused by rising sea levels. This incident shows us that the threat of the greenhouse effect is becoming more obvious. If we don't try to stop excess greenhouse effect, we could see millions more facing the same problem globally. Besides island countries facing these serious threats, from what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects, if the sea level rises more than 55 cm, much land will be lost, especially river outlets, deltas, and low, flat coastal plains. Unfortunately these areas are usually areas of high population density and industrial prosperity. For example, the Nile Delta in Egypt, Bangladesh's Ganges River and Brahmaputra River Delta, the Mississippi Delta in North America, and the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta in Mainland China.

Tuvalu resident home before and after ocean water invasion

Figure from:The Beijing Times

Global warming is the culprit

Tuvalu, located in the south of the Pacific, is formed by 9 coral reef islands in a circle, with a land area of only 26 km squared. It has a tropical climate and use to be a colony of England, receiving it's independence in 1978. Tuvalu is on the verge of being submerged in sea water because of rising sea levels.

According to the IPCC's statistical data, in the next century the earths temperature will rise another 1.4~5.8°C, and the sea level will rise 80 mm, which means being overwhelmed for Tuvalu.

Tuvalu's government has reached an immigration agreement with New Zealand to move 80 people a year. Niue has also expressed willingness to accept some of Tuvalu's residents. However, because of the acceleration of global warming, Niue is also in danger of being submerged.  

<The Beijing News March 20th, 2006>

Global warming and rising sea levels are endangering the island nations of Tuvalu, Kiribati, and the Maldives. The second smallest country is in danger of being swallowed by the ocean. Austrian environmentalists warn that in the near future, rising sea levels caused by global warming will cause the second smallest nation, Tuvalu, it's neighbor Kiribati, and the Maldives (located in the Indian Ocean), to be submerged by ocean water, and disappear from the face of the earth.

(B)Changes in Mountain Ecosystems

Warming climates could cause male sea turtles to disappear

Figure from:The Epoch Times International

Dramatic changes in plant types in high latitude areas

Low latitude plants are moving north, but the speed is far past nature's natural pace. According to data from around 10,000 years ago, vegetation moves about 25~40 kilometers a century, but if the amount of carbon dioxide doubled, the distance could increase to 599~1000 kilometers. With the present emission of greenhouse gases, the doubling of carbon dioxide amounts could occur in the 21st century.

Global Warming will cause migrating animals to become extinct

The Epoch Times, December 6th   (BBC )

A research project commissioned by the British government has stated that climate changes may cause the extinction of many species, including some migrating birds.

Threats stated in the report included: Melting ice caps, growing deserts, rising temperatures in sea water, causing changes in sea turtle sex, etc.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in England has commissioned The British Trust for Ornithology to lead a research on these topics. The results were reported in a meeting of the European Union Nature Conservation committee. The purpose of this meeting was to assist wild animals in adapting with warming climates. Warming climates has already affected migration routes of some birds and animals. Scientists have noticed that the migration patterns of birds, fishes, and turtles have changed a great deal. These changes seem to have resulted from changes in atmospheric temperature. Some animals that use to appear in more southern ocean areas, like the Loggerhead and the Little Egret, are now seen in British waters. Many species have the ability to adapt to climate changes, by slowly enlarging their dwelling environments and moving closer to the artic circle. But the report also warns that many other animals do not have this option. The polar bear and the sea walrus are losing their natural environments because the ice in the Artic Ocean is slowly disappearing.

(C) Abnormal Global Temperatures

Satellite photo of Hurricane Katrina


 Global droughts becoming serious

Figure from:Taiwan Environmental Information Association

Global warming, melting polar glaciers, and delayed polar bear hibernation

Figure from:

Typhoon frequencies and magnitudes are increasing

Global warming is causing ocean temperatures to rise, resulting in increased typhoon frequencies and magnitudes. This is endangering the half of the global population living within a 100 kilometer range from coastlines, with most of them in harbor cities or areas close by. Notable changes in the sea level will cause enormous economical damage to coastal lowlands and islands, for example, speeding of the corrosion of beaches by ocean water, and underground fresh water being forced inland.

August 8th, 2005 New Orleans, USA

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina caused 250,000 Americans to evacuate their homes. American environmental agencies released an investigation on the 16th stating that the first huge immigration wave caused by global warming and rising sea levels are around the coastline of the Mexican Gulf, and not the Pacific islands with lower ground levels.

World drought situations serious

Global warming quickens the global water cycle, raising the chances and magnitude of floods, droughts, and other extreme weather.

2005-1-11 (ENS) reporter J.R. Pegg Reports

Washington D.C., US, lands ravaged by serious droughts have doubled in the last 30 years. According to American scholars, rising global temperatures is the main reason. According to meteorologists of the NCAR, in 2002 around 30% of land was hit by droughts, compared to 10~15% in the 70s.

Temperatures could rise 2~4.5°C this century – Xinhua online 2007-02-01

English newspaper "The Independent" reports on the 29th that from the collective predictions of several climatologists worldwide, the global temperature could rise 2~4.5°C this century. Some areas may even see an increase of up to 6°C.

Extreme weather is expected to increase in number and seriousness. In a warmer world, long term heat waves and droughts will become common in many areas, causing huge losses for humans and the ecosystem. When the temperature of the ocean increases, hurricanes and typhoons will also become more frequent and more violent.

(D)Destroyed Environments and Changing Natural Balances

Accelerated growth speed causing barren soil

Figure from:Lingnan University, HK

Coral reef bleaching

Figure from:ENS

Because of climate changes, rising temperatures will effect the growth and spread of plants and crops, and speed up their growth, causing barren lands and restricting vegetative growth, indirectly disrupting the ecosystem and changing the balance of nature. Rising temperatures and increasing droughts will cause bad harvests. Some pests, like locusts, grow better under hot and dry climates, causing pest problems and lowering harvests, resulting in food shortages.

Most species do not migrate according to temperature changes, and these plants that do not move will be most hard hit by the increasing temperatures. Coastal swamps will disappear resulting in drops in fish quantities, especially shellfish. River outlets will turn salty, lowering the amount of fresh water fish, and increasing salt water fish types. Rising water temperatures are also devastating to coral reefs. Corals have unicellular organisms providing them with nutrition. If the water temperature rises 1~2 degrees, the corals will feel the drastic changes in the environment and under pressure, reject these unicellular organisms, causing the reefs to slowly die. If the coral reefs disappear, it will affect other ocean fishes and other organisms with food sources related to the reefs, causing huge destruction to the whole ocean ecosystem.

NS England, New Castle reports

According to a 1988 report on the long term effects of global warming on the Indian Ocean, global warming has already caused harm to the coral reefs of the Seychelles; when coral reefs bleach, they can not be restored. Research has discovered that fish types relying on the corals for life have become extinct in the region.

(E)Bad Effects on health

England under a heat wave

Figure from:BBC Chinese

In terms of health, there will be widespread and bad effects

Because of the increased frequencies of heat waves, deaths and illnesses have increased, and some communicable diseases may increase their range of communication.

Rising global temperatures will affect humans to a great extent. Flooded lowlands, abnormal climates, and bad weather are all examples. High temperatures are also fit for pests and viruses, threatening human health.

July, 2006 was the hottest month in England's history, reaching a high of 36.5°C. Fields in Kent County of England, known as the garden of England, turned yellow. The pleasant and green scenery of summer all turned brown.

(F)Changing local resources cause the supply of food, water, fish catches, and etc to become unbalanced,  

    causing international economic and social problems.

    As a whole, the poorer nations are hit harder, because they have less adaptation abilities.

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