Climate Change And Global Warming Essay

2607 words - 11 pages



Global warming and climate change is looked at in this section of the global issues web site. Introduced are some of the effects of climate change. In addition, this section attempts to provide insights into what governments, companies, international institutions, and other organizations are attempting to do about this issue, as well as the challenges they face. Some of the major conferences in recent years are also discussed.

Increased carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere as a result of climate change will alter global temperatures and rainfall amounts.  These factors will influence how well plants grow ...view middle of the document...

Drought field
Excessive rainfall results in floods. Waterlogged soil causes plant roots to rot and heavy rainfall damages tender young plants. 

Flooded fields
Increased rainfall without flooding may be beneficial in very dry areas and allow limited crop growth.
So changes in temperature and precipitation patterns as a result of climate change are likely to be bad for large areas of the world but may increase crop production in other regions.  However, one of the likely outcomes of climate change is also an increase in the severity of rain storms and droughts and both of these are likely to have large and devastating effects on agriculture.

The increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels resulting from fossil fuel combustion has a fertilizing effect on most plants since CO2 is needed for photosynthesis (the biochemical mechanism of plant growth).  Photosynthesis converts carbon dioxide and water into the simple sugar glucose and emits oxygen, making it possible for animals to live on Earth.  Sunlight is the energy that powers this reaction. The basic equation of the process of photosynthesis is:
6H2O + 6CO2 + light -----> C6H12O6 + 6O2
O2 is oxygen CO2 is carbon dioxide  C6H12O6 is glucose

Scientific experiments have shown that increasing atmospheric CO2 levels leads to an increase in plant growth.  The photograph shows scientists investigating the effect of increased CO2 levels on wheat growth. Increases in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion are a good thing for crop growth.  However, the negative effects of climate change are usually much larger than the positive ones.

 Scientists measuring the effect of CO2 on crops. [pic]

Global warming will do to wildlife what it may do to humans. As the climate changes, animals may be forced to move out of the habitats they're accustomed to — like human refugees. "Global warming is something that all conservationists are worried about," It has the possibility to undo a lot of the work we've done." While the impact of climate change on human populations is likely to be dire, we're pretty good at adapting to change overall. Animals, however, are not. When their habitats change irrevocably — when the rain forest dries up or cool mountains in tropical zones heat up — animals may simply go extinct. A recent data tells that from nearly 2,000 species of plants, insects and fungi in the tropics, where organisms often lack the ability to escape warming temperatures by going north or south; instead, they have to go up in elevation to find cooler temperatures. As populations in lowland areas move up, they tend not to be replaced. That means that we may see a reduction in overall biodiversity and what scientists call "species richness." Meanwhile, species that already live at the highest elevations have no place to go, except perhaps to extinction.

The Golden Toad, which lived in the...

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