The universal catastrophic risk is considered an imaginary event in the future that can cause extensive damage on a global magnitude, annihilate modern civilization or lead to human extinction. One of the potential hazards aside from nuclear warfare and unfriendly artificial intelligence is global warming and climate change.
The excessive increase in world temperatures is believed to be hastening the destruction of different human species on earth. However, scientific studies reveled threats are expected to be higher in very sensitive regions. Some scientists refer to this as the “sixth mass extinction” similar to what happened 65 million years before. Only this time, the obliteration will not be caused by ferocious dinosaurs but climate change and people’s shameless disregard for the environment.
Learn the Causes (Global Warming)
Human beings are influencing the climate considerably by burning fossil fuels, destroying rainforests and domestic animals. These add large quantities of greenhouse gases to what is taking place naturally in the earth’s atmosphere. The result is increased greenhouse effects and global warming.
At present, average global temperature is 0.85 degrees Celsius. This is higher compared to what was recorded towards the end of the 19th century. Many climate scientists believe human activities are the primary causes of warming registered during the midpoint of the 20th century. The increase of two degrees Celsius is deemed as the upper limit. Further than this is an extremely higher menace in which tragic global environmental changes will happen. This is the reason why the global community realizes the need to limit warming less than this mark.
Certain gases in the atmosphere trap heat of the sun and prevent it from seeping back to space. Many of these gases come about naturally although human activity increases the concentration of some gases in the environment like Carbon Dioxide, Methane and Nitrous Oxide. CO2 is responsible for over 60 percent of artificial warming. The burning of oil, gas and coal generates CO2 and Nitrous Oxide.
Deforestation is another cause. Trees contribute to climate regulation through the absorption of carbon dioxide. The beneficial effects are lost once trees are cut down.
Severe effects of climate change include relentless storms, growing sea levels, food shortage, acidification of oceans, and impairment of helpless eco-systems. Global warming is causing an increase in regular and extreme temperatures around the world.
Last year, a number of cities in the US experienced the hottest summers. The number of deaths also went up by 2,000 percent during the last 10 years.
Extreme weather is produced by global warming. While there were very hot summer seasons, certain states in the US also experienced exceptionally cold winters.
In fact, climate change has caused permanent modifications on Earth’s ecological and biological systems. Indeed, there is substantial proof that majority of the global warming during the last five decades can be attributed to activities of human beings.
Such transformation brought about the emergence of massive ecological dangers which include loss of bio-diversity, ozone (fresh air) depletion or reduction, spread of communicable diseases, and food production issues.
There has been a lot of debate on global warming together with effects of climate change on human health, supply of food, relocation, economic progress, and change in societies.
Human effects can be positive and negative. Many research studies call to mind that the present and future consequences of climate change on civilization will be relatively negative.
Unfavorable effects of climate change will surely be experienced more by the underprivileged and low-income household worldwide. These are the people who are more vulnerable to environmental transformations.
Global Aftermath It is very apparent that the warming of our planet is going to have global repercussions. Current climate projections estimate that by the end of the 21st century, there can be global warming of two to 11 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 to 6.4 degrees Celsius). With these warmer temperatures, there can be a variety of changes that can happen.
Glacier retreat (which is already happening) would speed up and the Arctic landmass can start to melt. This, in turn, will raise sea levels up to a considerable extent.
Global warming will also have an increasingly large effect on the patterns of extreme weather on our planet such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and drought.
Hurricanes will become less frequent but far more intense, and areas currently experiencing drought will widen. Many locations that rely on a flow of summer streams will lose water during the warmer months as well. Any species that cannot adapt to the climate change and resulting effects on locations around the world will become extinct. It is widely believed that this number can reach a greater extent.
What can the human race expect after all these? Will there be extinction? This is a doomsday belief that should not be believed after all.