9 Facts Proving That Global Warming Is Already Killing You — Ecomasteryproject
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We all hear the real effects of global warming won’t be visible for another 100 years or so. Well, think again, because they’re coming fast and they’re coming hot.
In this post, we mention 9 of the more visible effects of global warming that we are facing every day.
1- Heat Waves
Traditional scientific consensus has been known that if we can manage to keep global temperature increases below two degrees Celsius, we’ll manage to avoid the doomiest and gloomiest of what global warming has to offer. But recent evidence has suggested that at just 0.7 degrees, we’re already seeing alarming increases in fatally hot weather events. And to the surprise of no one, it’s disproportionately affecting poorer areas of the planet. In fact, since 1960 India has seen the total number of heat waves with more than 100 deaths increased by 150%. The Asian nation has nearly 200 million people who fall below the global poverty line of $1.90 cents per day, meaning that they’re incredibly dependent on favorable farming weather and can’t afford to protect themselves from the fatal temperatures. At its peak in 2017, neighboring Pakistan recorded a temperature of 53.5 degrees Celsius. That’s the highest temperature ever recorded in May, worldwide, and there’s no sign of things slowing down. It followed a similar heat wave in 2015 that killed 2,000 people and forced the Muslim population to break Ramadan in order to survive.
Bees really are having a rough time right now and the punches just keep rolling in. For a decade, now honeybee populations have been dropping at an unprecedented rate- sometimes as high as 30% of colonies per year. First, it was pesticides called Neonicotinoids accelerating colony collapse, then it was diseased that attack their blood and cripple their wings. Now it looks like global warming is the uppercut that might just leave them, and us, on the ropes as a species. A 2015 study by the American Association for the Advancement of science found that the range of bee habitats among 67 different species had juice by a whopping 300 kilometers on average between 1975 and 2010. It’s all because hiding temperatures are causing many crops to shift north to adapt, but the bees are yet to follow suit and there’s no indication that they will at all. If this trend continues and the bees die off, it will have massive repercussions for Humanity as a species. Currently, one-third of all food that we eat comes from pollinating animals. That’s up to 1.3 billion tons of produce, including apples, lettuce, and avocados, wiped off the map if bees aren’t there to do their job. Although on the plus side, with no avocado toast, millennials might be able to afford a house.
3- Seasonal shifts
The media often portrays climate change solely in terms of catastrophic events and one-offs that, actually, aren’t quite so one-off. But if you thought that global warming was just about freak events, then I’ve got news for you. Over the last few decades, we’ve seen a subtle sometimes not-so-subtle shift in the lengths of seasons. In fact, summers now tend to start as much as eight days earlier than 50 years ago. And before you start thinking about how you can spend your extra time in the sun, keep in mind that this kind of shift could have a major effect on the natural balance between plants, animals, and people. And it’s already starting to take hold around the globe. We’re beginning to see farmers being thrown off agricultural rhythms in developing countries, as the rainy seasons are showing up early and disrupt their ability to yield enough crops. The Global Humanitarian Forum estimates that this could be contributing to as many as 300,000 climate change related deaths each year. And it’s not just the large-scale implications, the phenomenon is damaging the lives of Native Alaskan Inupiats, as seasonal shifts have caused the behavior of moose that are out of sync with when they can legally hunt.
Believe it or not, wildfires are actually good for the forests of the world. They take on the necessary role of clearing away dead trees and rebalancing the forests in their own violent, horrific way. But everything in moderation, as the Greeks say, and climate change is making forest fires less moderate. In the last 40 years, instances of forest fires have increased fivefold, lasting five times longer and affecting six times the area. In the first half of 2017 alone, 10000 square km of American forests will burn to the ground. That’s an area the size of Jamaica. The problem can be traced back to climate change through increased global temperatures leading to drier soil and fires that burn much more aggressively. California, in particular, is feeling the brunt, where fires have jumped massively in size and cost to 2000 square kilometers and $500 million dollars to quell. It even called a state of emergency in 2014.
5- Economic Decline
We all know money talks, and right now it’s saying that climate change is already costing us big time. The direct effects are causing all kinds of problems in their own ways, but it’s having the serious knock-on effect of global losses to revenue, which in turn is racking up its own death toll. As of 2010, the symptoms of global warming are costing the world 1.2 trillion dollars annually, burning 1.7% of the world’s economic output. Most of the staggering cost comes from the farming losses, where it’s estimated that a 1 degree Celsius temperature increase cuts yield by 10% and it’s propped up by the cost of dealing with increasing ecological disasters. All in all those factors are causing 400,000 deaths per year, and it’s only going up. By 2030, global losses are expected to nearly double to 3.2% and deaths are said to increase to 630,000.
Everyone hates mosquitoes. They’re annoying, they’re hard to get rid of and, when they’re at their worst, they might just straight up murder you. So it’s great to know that with rising temperatures, the world could be seeing them a whole lot more often. Thanks to the weather shifts climate change brings with it, we’re starting to see them spread in ways we haven’t seen before. For one thing, more temperate areas of the world are starting to see mosquito migrations where they were rare or non-existent before, and in seasonal habitats like California, mosquitoes could take up the mantle of nature’s awful houseguests and never leave. And on a localized level, increased rainfall is leading to greater moisture and more stagnant water pools for them to hang out. It’s already starting to be a real and very life-threatening problem. The World Health Organization has pointed to climate change as being instrumental in the spread of the Zika virus, which has had as many as 400,000 suspected worldwide cases. And if that wasn’t enough, the non-governmental organization has also predicted a 5% increase in malaria as a result of climate based mosquito movements. Better invest in some bug spray.
Along with ice ages, meteors and rampaging monsters, flooding is standard fare for disaster movies. But sadly, the Sci rings much truer than the Fi when it comes to catastrophic water levels, so we have some big problems. Due to the increase in global temperatures, some regions are seeing a lot more moisture in the air, and just like with smoke and fire, where there’s moisture there’s rain — and lots of it. According to the National Wildlife Federation, massive precipitation events should normally only happen once every 20 years. But they’re increasing in frequency and will be four times as likely by the end of the century. Don’t be fooled by that time-scale though, the effects are already more than visible. In 2015, South Carolina fell victim to a flood that might only occur every thousand years, killing nine people, submerging streets and drawing houses across the state. Likewise in Louisiana, the state experienced eight flooding events between summer 2015 and 2016 that exceeded the amount of rainfall that should be expected once in 500 years. Just to repeat that’s four thousand years worth of flooding in just one year. I’m not sure sandbags are quite enough to fix that one.
8- Coral Reef Collapse
The coral reef is one of the most beautiful sites our blue marble has to behold, while it lasts at least. It’s a wonder of biodiversity, containing a quarter of all aquatic species in just 1% of the ocean floor. But increases in ocean temperature and leaving the rig’s vulnerable to disease and causing them to undergo mass bleaching, not to mention increasing carbon in the water causing them to acidify. In short, we’re idiots for destroying it. But to add insult to injury, we’re basically trashing the oceans natural pharmacy while we’re at it. One of the lesser-known wonders of the reef is that it yields a massive array of potential treatments for diseases that have plagued humanity. According to one scientist, we’re three to four hundred times more likely to create new medicines from ocean sources than the land. Chemicals from animals like sea sponges have already yielded new treatments for everything from common ailments like asthma to the likes of leukemia and HIV. It’s all down to the unique density of life in the reef, which has led to a bizarre range of chemicals among the animals there, designed to ward off potential predators. They say don’t bite the hand of feeds, so definitely don’t bite the hand that cures most serious diseases known to man.
9- Dormant Diseases
Normally when people hear global warming, they think of the physical consequences, and you absolutely should, but you might also want to add biological perils to the list of worries. There’s a good deal of evidence to suggest that shifting climate conditions could leave you feeling sick as a dog, or maybe a seal if your home gets submerged by rising sea levels. It’s all because of permafrost, which is ground ice that has been frozen for more than two years but often for hundreds or even thousands. It’s starting to warm up at alarming rates, about a degree every decade, and revealing some stone-cold horrors. In 2016, a layer of permafrost in Russia gave way to a preserved dead reindeer that was carrying what has been dubbed ‘zombie anthrax’ because it was lying dormant in the ice. The outbreak killed over 2300 reindeer, hospitalized more than 100 people and led to the tragic death of a 12-year-old boy. Since then, scientists have become worried that bygone diseases like Smallpox and Spanish Flu could thaw out and make a comeback, or even unknown ancient pathogens that blighted our ancestors.
That was 9 ways global warming is already killing you, which one scares you the most?
Let us know in the comments
Originally published at https://www.ecomasteryproject.com on October 3, 2017.