#Article (Archive)

The effects of climate change

Dec 18, 2009, 9:18 PM

Global climate change has already started having impacts on the environment.

Glaciers have shrunk ice on rivers and lakes are breaking up, while plant and animal began changing colours and trees flower sooner than longer.

No doubt what scientists have predicted about climate change is gradually occurring: loss of sea ice, accelerated sea level rise, more intense heat waves, etc

Scientists have self-confidence that global temperatures will continue to rise for decades to come, largely due to greenhouse gasses produced by human activities.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which includes more than 1,300 scientists from the United States and other countries, forecasts a temperature rise of 2.5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century.

According to the IPCC, the extent of climate change effects on individual regions will vary over time, depending on the ability of different societal and environmental systems to mitigate or adapt to such changes.
For Africa, it is forecasted that by 2020, between 75 and 250 million people are projected to be exposed to increased water stress; yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50 percent in some regions by 2020; and agricultural production, including access to food, may be severely compromised.

The IPCC predicts that increases in global mean temperature of less than 1.8 to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (1 to 3 degrees Celsius) above 1990 levels will produce beneficial impacts in some regions and harmful ones in others.

It is assumed that net annual costs will increase over time as global temperatures increase.