The entire planet is getting warmer, and every year the temperature continues to rise even further. This phenomenon is called global warming, and is perceived by many to be the greatest threat to the environment. Everyone, young and old, from all walks of life, from East to West, and North to South, has experienced the global warming effects to a certain degree. Although the majority of the worlds population have yet to gain first-hand experience of the terrible aftermaths of this occurrence, the effects are evident everywhere and should be sufficient in serving as a wakeup call for all.
Rise in Sea Level
Currently, sea levels have already risen to 4 to 8 inches. The warm temperature has triggered the melting of mountain glaciers and the Greenland ice sheet, increased precipitation, and the expansion of ocean waters. Studies have shown that such effects can be more felt in the coastal cities in the United States, with projections indicating that New York sea levels could go as high as 10 inches by 2050, and 24 inches by 2100. According to a study conducted at the University of Arizona Institute for the Study of Planet Earth, headed by Jonathan Overpeck, a mere one meter rise in sea level could turn eastern coastal cities into swamps.
Disappearance of Coral Reef and Sea Creatures
In the late 1990s, the worst coral devestation in history was recorded, and this was due largely to the warming seas. The rise in temperature underwater has caused coral colonies to undergo a process called bleaching, which is the expulsion of their food-producing algae. Bleaching, in turn, causes the coral reefs to become white and die. WWF has predicted that the worst that could happen in this case by year 2100 would be the collapse of the entire coral reef population, causing dire effects on underwater species that are depending on coral reefs for survival.
More Damaged Crops
Because of droughts, storms, and flooding, crops become very susceptible to damage and destruction. Crop yields will most likely continue to drop. An increase of one degree Fahrenheit in temperature will cause yields to fall by 3-5%, particularly for the most widely grown crops rice, wheat, corn, soybeans, sorghum, and barley. Research has even shown that in the next century there is a very high likelihood that the worlds population will face a threat on food production.
Widespread Extinction of Wildlife
Animals in the wild are also feeling the global warming effects. The polar bears in North American regions have become thinner and are producing fewer numbers of cubs as compared to two decades ago. Gray wolves have shown greater extremities in predatory behavior which has led to a decrease in moose population. It has been predicted that by the year 2050, the continued rise in temperature will result in the extinction of a million species, and the number could even be significantly higher if the effects of a buildup in carbon dioxide and the rise of predatory species are taken into account.