Climate change in the 21st Century

23 May

Climate change in the 21st Century

Climate change in now affecting all regions around the world. It is disrupting communities, individuals, national economies and will potentially create significant implications in the future. Climate change is already having an impact to the planet and the society and will continue to do so. Rising sea levels and changing weather patterns are disturbing the lives of thousands of people. Some countries are experiencing extreme weather events and rainfall, while others are being affected by extreme heat waves and droughts. Greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise and without action the world’s average surface temperature is expected to reach even higher levels. Climate change crosses national borders, and emissions somewhere means disruptions everywhere. (UN)

Climate change is a major challenge for modern societies, as environmental changes can threaten food production, lead to rising sea levels and increase the possibility of disastrous flooding events. Between 1980 and 2011 floods affected more that five million people around the globe leading to major economic losses. Damage to property and human health imposes heavy costs to people and national economies. As a result of climate change, societies also experience debt as sectors that rely on specific temperatures, such as agriculture and tourism, are affected. Moreover, there are parts of the planet that are getting drier and fresh water resources are getting scarcer everyday. Droughts and desertification are increasing the demands of water supplies in many countries. Changing weather patterns will transform the areas where plants and animals can live, forcing some species to migrate, while increasing the rate of extinction in a global scale. Because of historic droughts, farmers are forced to plant different crops in order to survive. Climate change can also affect the health to individuals, as a result of high temperatures, pollution and diseases carried by insects and animals that relocate. The World Health Organization points out that drought, degraded air and water quality and greater hazards in coastal and low-lying regions will create dreadful health problems. (WHO)

Without consistent actions against these threats, adapting to climate change in the future will be more difficult. (UN) Solutions are now available to enable countries to improve their quality of life and their economies. More and more people are turning to renewable energy and other adaptation measures that will reduce emissions and increase preventive efforts. Climate change is an issue that requires coordinated solutions at an international level to help societies move forward a low-carbon economy. (UN)

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