For decades, the causes and consequences of climate change have been the object of collective concern; however, there are myths about climate change and not everyone knows the extent of its impact on the earth. And it is that climate change is the most important global environmental problem that humans face during this century.
Therefore, we are going to dedicate this article to knowing what are the causes and consequences of climate change and its origin.
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According to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), climate change is climate change that is directly or indirectly attributable to human activities that change the composition of the global atmosphere and increase the regular changes that occur naturally in the Earth. planet.
The earth has natural cycles that occur from time to time, including climate change. For example, about 10.000 years ago, the climate of our planet was colder than it is today, and glaciers occupied much of the earth's surface; gradual changes ended with the last ice age.
Climate change has devastating effects on our planet. Its consequences are increasing both in frequency and intensity due to an increase in the greenhouse effect.
In the history of the Earth there have been several climatic changes, however, this produced by man is the most intense. Its main cause is greenhouse gas emissions that are released into the atmosphere by our industrial, agricultural, transportation activities, etc. However, climate change does not affect all countries equally since it works depending on the characteristics of the ecosystems and the heat retention capacity of each greenhouse gas.
What does it affect?
Climate change has various effects that are causing different impacts on:
- The ecosystems: Climate change attacks ecosystems, reducing biodiversity and making it difficult for many species to survive. It also alters carbon storage in the cycle and fragments the habitats of each species. Fragmented habitats are great dangers that animals and plants have to face and that, at times, can mean the extinction of the species.
- Human systems: Due to the adverse effects it has on the atmosphere, rainfall, temperatures, etc. Climate change attacks human systems causing loss of performance in agriculture. For example, many crops are damaged by extreme droughts or cannot be grown due to high temperatures, a crop rotation is needed, pests increase, etc. On the other hand, the drought increases the shortage of drinking water for irrigation, supplying cities, washing streets, ornamentation, industry, etc. And for the same reason, it causes damage to health, the appearance of new diseases ...
- Urban systems: Climate change also affects urban systems causing transport patterns or routes to be modified, new technologies have to be improved or installed in buildings, and in general it affects lifestyle
- Economic systems: What to say about economic systems. Obviously, changes in the climate affect energy production, manufacturing, industries that use natural capital ...
- Social systems: Climate change also affects social systems causing changes in migration, leading to wars and conflicts, breaking equity, etc.
Consequences of climate change in Africa
Africa is one of the continents most vulnerable to climate change. Most of Africa will receive less rainfall, and only the central and eastern region will experience increased rainfall. It is estimated that there will be an increase in arid and semi-arid lands in Africa between 5% and 8% until 2080. People will also suffer increased water stress due to droughts and water shortages caused by climate change. This will damage agricultural production and access to food will become increasingly difficult.
On the other hand, rising sea levels will affect large cities located in low-lying coastal areas, such as Alexandria, Cairo, Lomé, Cotonou, Lagos and Massawa.
Impact of climate change in Asia
Impacts other than Africa will be seen in Asia. For example, the melting of glaciers will increase floods and rock avalanches, and affect the water resources of Tibet, India and Bangladesh; This in turn will cause a decrease in the flow of rivers and the availability of fresh water, as the glaciers recede. In the year 2050, more than 1000 billion people could suffer from water shortages. Southeast Asia, and especially overcrowded large deltas regions, are at risk of flooding. Around 30% of coral reefs in Asia are expected to disappear in the next 30 years due to various pressures and climate change. Changes in rainfall will lead to an increase in diarrheal diseases, mainly associated with floods and droughts.
It can also increase the range of the malaria mosquito and thus affect more Asian populations.
Consequences in Latin America
The retreat of the glaciers in this area and the consequent decrease in rainfall can lead to a decrease in the water available for agriculture, consumption and energy generation. With the scarcity of available water, the productivity of food crops would also decrease and this would lead to problems in food security.
Due to the extinction of many tropical areas, Latin America could experience a significant loss of biological diversity. The decrease in soil moisture is expected to cause a gradual replacement of tropical forests by savannas in eastern Amazonia. Another endangered ecosystem located in the Caribbean is coral reefs, which are home to many living marine resources. Rising sea levels will increase the risk of flooding in low-lying regions, particularly in the Caribbean.