Effects to Date
Is it Our Fault?
Some predicted Future Effects
of Climate Change
Increased average temperatures: the IPCC (International Panel
for Climate Change) predict a global
rise of between 1.1ºC and 6.4ºC by 2100 depending on some scientific uncertainties and the extent to which
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
we are risking a rise of up to +8°C
or even +11ºC. 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
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.