The realities of climate change are becoming evident everywhere you look, from farmlands to animal and plant habitats. The gradual, yet significant changes in each country’s weather patterns around the globe are another piece of evidence that climate change is real, and that it is affecting our planet every day. Below, we highlight a few of the most devastating effects of climate change on the environment and what we can do differently to reduce and repair this devastation.
The weather and oceans
With climate change comes more extreme temperatures, including heatwaves, and a higher chance of natural disasters, such as hurricanes. These extreme temperatures are having a direct effect on the African continent where droughts and wildfires are becoming a massive problem within the naturally arid areas. This has led to an increased need to conserve water.
The oceans themselves are also experiencing a drastic increase in temperature, resulting in expansion that leads to higher sea levels. Further to this, the oceans are absorbing a sizeable amount of CO2 emissions which has caused them to become up to 40% more acidic. This change in pH means that habitats are affected for sea plant and animal life.
Our health and economy
The effects of climate change on the environment all influence the health and prosperity of humans. For example, the unpredictable availability of water and the extreme weather conditions are having an impact on agriculture, making it difficult for farmers to keep up with demand and causing many people to go hungry. The pollution in the air is resulting in aggravated lung conditions and is often the culprit behind these conditions’ existence in the first place.
Many natural ecosystems have become hostile, while others are on the verge of collapsing entirely. The ice in the Arctic is disappearing, coral reefs are responding negatively to the ocean’s temperature shifts, and forests are being over-run by insects that kill trees.
What can we do?
The answer to reducing the effects and repairing as much of the damage done as possible is for every single individual to take responsibility for curbing their own contribution to climate change. Conserve water, use energy wisely, eat sustainably, invest in renewables, and, most importantly, spread the word.