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of global warming are of concern both for the environment and human
life. Scenarios studied by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) predict that global warming will continue and get worse much
faster than was expected even in their last report.
Research by NOAA indicate that the effects of global warming are already irreversible. The IPCC reports attribute many specific natural phenomena to human causes. The expected long range effects of recent climate change may already be observed.
Rising sea levels, glacier retreat, Arctic shrinkage, and altered patterns of agriculture are cited as direct consequences of human activities. Predictions for secondary and regional effects include extreme weather events, an expansion of tropical diseases, changes in the timing of seasonal patterns in ecosystems, and drastic economic impact.
Possible Short-Term Benefits of Global Warming
It is certain that enough global warming would be harmful to human beings. If the temperatures were hot enough and the sea levels were high enough, it would spell an end to life as it is known at this time. Yet, there may be some short-term benefits of global warming.
Few people would argue and say that a warm climate is not preferable to a cold one. Not only are warm climates generally more pleasant, there are health benefits as well.
People who suffer from conditions that are affected by the cold, such as rheumatoid arthritis, often move to warmer climates. A small amount of global warming would allow people to stay in their homes.
One scientist did an extensive study of statistics to find out the health benefits of warmer weather. He studied the numbers of deaths in different months of the year in places that get cold in the winter and warm in the summer. He determined that many more people die in the winter than in the summer. This would seem to support the benefits of global warming.
However, he also noted that the statistics in this part of the study were not entirely accurate. They were muddied by the fact that there are other considerations during season changes that would not occur in global warming. For example, days were shorter in winter, but they would not be shorter if more global warming occurred.
In 2004, it was observed by lobster fishermen that the warmer temperatures caused by global warming had affected their work. There seemed to be an abundance of Maine lobsters living and thriving in the warmer waters.
They were happy for the increase, but expected it to be short-lived as the optimal temperature for lobsters probably has a very small range.
It has been thought for quite some time that global warming would increase the amount of corn, wheat, barley, and other grains that could be grown. Not only the warmer weather and the longer growing seasons were anticipated to yield this result. Carbon dioxide exposure was expected to increase productivity along with global warming.
Studies have shown, though, that the carbon dioxide benefits are very minimal. Current projections are that farmers will only be able to keep up with demand for crops for a few more decades. Then, it is predicted that world-wide shortages will take hold.
Furthermore, agriculture in tropical zones is expected to decline rapidly as the temperature becomes too hot to support plant life. The temperate zones will be able to have better farming, and more of the world's crops will be grown there.
Some economists point to global warming as a boon to international trade. They feel that the loss of ice sheets in the Arctic will open up routes that have not been accessible in the past. This will provide faster travel between Europe, America, and Asia, they say.
People give plenty of reasons to embrace global warming. They see only promise in the climate change of their planet. Perhaps they just do not want to feel required to do anything about global warming. Or, perhaps there is some room for hope.
More ArticlesThe US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement On Global Warming
... Kyoto Protocol demanded of its member nations. The idea was that if a grassroots network could be built to prevent global warming, it would essentially do the same job that the government was shirking by not ratifying the Kyoto agreement. A letter and an endorsement agreement were sent out. Mayors across ...
... and windmills can be used to take the place of burning gas, or coal for electricity. Windmills, in fact, are already being set up by the scores in many fields in out-of-the-way places. This is a good step to prevent global warming. Nations can also be quick to adjust their policies to the climatic changes ...
... are less apparent. These situations can change life in many ways. Heat, of course, will be an important factor in global warming. There will be more days that are hot, higher daytime highs, and many lasting heat waves. This will affect people, animals, and the environment. There will be more people who ...
... where alpine meadows once lay. In the last 60 years, species in alpine areas have moved up the mountains at a rate of 20 feet per decade. This leaves little doubt that global warming is having an impact on alpine areas. The health of sea creatures in their habitats is also being threatened by global warming. ...
... will be the cause. An ice age will probably not happen gradually, either. This is a phenomenon that takes place rather quickly. Perhaps it does not happen as fast as the ice event in The Day After Tomorrow. However, it could happen within a few short years with global warming being to blame. The return ...
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