Our Earth is warming, but why exactly should you care?

#1 — An increase in the number of heat waves

The urban environment is especially vulnerable to heat waves. Photo by Anastasia Sklyar on Unsplash

#2 — Increased intensity of cyclones

Cyclones are predicted to be more intense. Photo by NASA on Unsplash

#3 — Risks of drought

#4— Meltdown of glaciers and ice sheets

The ice-albedo effect. Source: Wikipedia

#5 — Ocean temperature change and Acidification

Carbon cycle with representative values (Source:Wikipedia)
  1. We are constantly destroying the plant world (forests, grasslands, estuaries, swamps, etc) that is capable of removing carbon.
  2. We have heated the ocean which reduces carbon solubility (they can be stored easily in colder waters at high altitude). About 30% of all anthropogenic carbon is directly stored by oceans already, and we are stressing it out even more.
  3. The oceans are acidified and de-oxygenated by this additional carbon stored and that has again impacted marine life. This vital ecosystem is responsible for a major part of carbon recycling (see the figure!) and we are damaging it.

#6 — Water security

Water stress drives people in low income areas to desperation. Source: Getty images
  1. Land use pattern has changed dramatically in the last 200 years. Agriculture comes under more area than ever, and it contributes significantly to green house gas emissions which furthers the intensity of extreme precipitation. Also, agriculture is very water intensive; most of the water simply evaporates.
  2. The surface water has been diverted too much to suit the needs of agriculture and industry, and less water remains for actual physical consumption. This obviously impacts all river ecosystems too.
  3. Deforestation is a problem for groundwater recharge and soil integrity.
  4. Groundwater over-exploitation to meet rising demands leads to decrease in water-table level. This leads to sea water incursion, which is emboldened by rising sea levels due to glacial melting! The resulting saltwater can no longer be fit for consumption.

#7 — Food security

Cyclones routinely destroy crops all around the world. Source: Al Jazeera

#8 — Air quality

Fossil fuels do two things: spoil air, and make earth warmer

#9 — Global migrations

A supposedly positive note

References:

  1. State of food security in the world report 2018, WHO
  2. Impacts of 1.5°C global warming on natural and human systems, IPCC
  3. Special report on Ocean and Cryosphere, IPCC

--

--

--

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Rescuing Los Angeles

Inmí Wáwnak-shash iwá ichín Tícham-yaw ku ichín Wana-yaw

Diary of a SustyViber — Jennifer Uchendu

Tuesday evening to be Cyprus’ coldest this year-so far

Atmanirbhar Bharat and Energy Security

Meshing with Maps: Empowering Indigenous Communities

King Solution 11: GCR — How to Gambling to eliminate toxic product, toxic company & the bad people

European Battery Act — a Quick Overview​

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Srinivas Surya

Srinivas Surya

42

More from Medium

Are the humans an “autoimmune disease”?

Fungi For The Future

Communities of Color Often Pay the Price of the Climate Crisis: Here’s What Can Be Done

Conversations of Hope in an Age of Environmental Crisis