CLIMATE CHANGE
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CLIMATE CHANGE:
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Effects to Date
Future Effects
Late Already?
Thresholds
Is it Our Fault?
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Some predicted Future Effects of Climate Change

  • Increased average temperatures: the IPCC (International Panel for Climate Change) predict a global rise of between 1.1C and 6.4C by 2100 depending on some scientific uncertainties and the extent to which the world decreases or increases greenhouse gas emissions. And 95 years is a short time! Some researchers suggest a lower temperature range; however, others say that, taking into account the extra effects of thresholds being breached ("feedback factors"), we are risking a rise of up to +8C or even +11C. This would make life intolerable or unsurvivable.

  • 50% less rainfall in the tropics. Severe water shortages within 25 years potentially affecting 5 billion people. Widespread crop failures.

  • 50% more river volume by 2100 in northern countries.

  • Desertification and burning down of vast areas of agricultural land and forests.

  • Continuing spread of malaria and other diseases, including from a much increased insect population in UK. Respiratory illnesses due to poor air quality with higher temperatures.

  • Extinction of large numbers of animal and plant species.

  • Sea level rise: due to both warmer water (greater volume) and melting ice. The IPCC predicts between 28cm and 43cm by 2100, with consequent high storm wave heights, threatening to displace up to 200 million people. At worst, if emissions this century were to set in place future melting of both the Greenland and West Antarctic ice caps, sea level would eventually rise approx 12m.

  • Risk of wars fought for water and habitable territory.

  • The UK could have a climate like Iceland if the Gulf Stream ceases to flow, due to melting freshwater from ice sheets and glaciers diluting the salt water on which the ocean circulation depends.