Global warming as it states in its title is a global phenomenon which has global implications. Present day situations are not at any levels to cause major change in the global scale of things but localised problems are becoming apparent and causing a global investigation into the causes and possible future effects of global warming. The scientific predictions available paint a bleak picture and without immediate intervention into the causes of global warming the impacts on all areas of human society will soon become apparent.
In this essay I am going to access the evidence available on global warming and how this evidence leads to the impacts that will affect human land use and activities. The greenhouse effect is the way the earth is warmed in the day by the incoming rays from the sun and cooled at night by inferred waves leaving the earth. These cause a balance and result in our current temperatures. The incoming rays pass easily through the atmosphere which is made up of mainly nitrogen and oxygen but some of the out going radiation is trapped by the remaining trace gases.
These trap the heat as a greenhouse does hence they’re named green house gases. These natural gases maintain the temperature if they did not exist then the earth would be over 33 degrees cool far to cold to maintain life. These natural green house gases are made up mostly of water but they also contain small amounts of carbon dioxide methane, nitrous oxide and ozone. During the past few years the green house gases have been monitored and their levels have been rising in all cases except water which has remained constant.
These rises in concentrations can be attributed to the increase in world population and the growth of agriculture and industry linked to this growth. This increase of gases is allowing the atmosphere a greater ability to trap heat. This therefore has led scientist to attribute increasing green house gases as the cause for global warming. Already there has been an increase in world temperatures by around 0. 5 degrees and predictions suggest that by 2100 temperatures could have risen by anywhere between 1. 5 and 4. 5 degrees.
Although all scientists now agree that global warming is taking place there is disagreement as how the data collected and predictions made from this information is going to effect world climate and consequently how a change in climate will affect land use and human activity. One Idea is as the atmosphere gets warmer then so too will the water in the world oceans. As the sea water warms up it will expand this will cause a eustatic rise in its level by between 0. 25 and 1 meter by 2100, this rise alone would submerge low lying coral islands (Maldives.
This rise will also increase flood risks at large river deltas such as the Nile and Bangladesh. The flooding of large area would lead to huge amounts of environmental refugees and lose culture and history in these areas. The second idea is Polar ice caps would melt this is where there is a dispute the idea is that they would melt and cause huge rises in sea levels. Recent evidence suggests that temperatures in the Antarctic have risen considerably over the past few years and this has caused little or no noticeable effect on ice cap melt.
There would be melting of frozen areas but the increased evaporation would result in increased precipitation in the wetter season which would increase the volume of ice caps and other frozen land forms. The third result of global warming would be a change in Distribution of precipitation some areas would become wetter increasing their agricultural productivity ( 40 degrees north) but some areas would become dryer with less reliable rainfall. These areas would become drier, at the moment these are predominantly cereal growing areas therefore this change in climate could cause world food shortages.
Picture showing flood risk areas average temperature rises and possible changes in agricultural practices of regions. Effects of global warming will put pressure on fresh water storage areas. As the increasing temperatures will cause increased rates of evaporation from reservoirs this would not be an immediate problem if this increase in evaporation was counteracted by an increase in precipitation but predictions show that across some latitudes rainfall will decrease especially in the summer months leading to increased likleyhood of droughts.
Tourism in many areas will also be effected if the temperatures increase there is likely to be a decrease in snow fall in many of the European and world resorts this would cause a change in the type of activities that could occur there skiing and other winter sports would have to be relocated or artificial sources of snow would have to be substituted. So overall the effects of global warming are by no means certain depending on the emissions of greenhouse gases is the factor that limits or accelerates the process of the green house effect.
Global warming will over the near future cause a global increase in temperature this increase is going to cause a number of problems but not all the effects will be negative the effect of global warming will be manageable but there will be a tremendous economic cost there will probably also be a great lose of life especially within third world countries along their coastal regions where the majorities of their populations live due to the fertile land that is found there.
The main things to be effected by global warming will be temperature which will in turn cause a change in the agriculture of many areas there will also be a lot of change within the water supply new fresh water supply’s will have to be found or millions will have to be spent on the protection of fresh water areas to combat the problem of salanisation. Vegetation in areas will change forest types will alter.