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The Impacts of Global Warming

The impacts of global warming and climate change can be physical, ecological, social or economic. The impacts that global warming can have on our planet are a change in the instrumental temperature record, rising sea levels, and decreased snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere of our planet.

According to the Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change, most of the increases in global average temperatures that have been observed since the mid-20th century are very likely due to the increase in human greenhouse gas concentrations.

It is predicted that that global warming will have an impact on climate change in the future, and that the global mean temperature will rise, sea levels will rise. It is predicted that the frequency of some extreme weather events will occur.

The instrumental temperature record shows global warming of around 0.6 degrees celsius over the span of the entire 20th century. Climate models suggest future global warming of 1.1 to 6.4 degrees celsius by the end of the 21st century. Should the global temperatures rise to this degree, the impacts of global warming could be horrific.

glacier melting

The activity of humans has contributed to a number of observed changes in our climate. This is due in the most part from the burning of fossil fuels, which has led to an increase in the amount of GHG`s in the atmosphere. The increase of GHG has resulted in a forcing of the climate towards the direction of warming.

Warming resulting from humans could possibly lead to impacts that are sudden or even irreversible. The IPCC concluded that with an average global temperature increase of 1 to 4 degrees celsius, partial deglaciation of the Greenland ice sheet would happen over a period of centuries to millenia.

Observations of the climate show that there have been changes and significan impacts on our weather. The more climate changes, the more the likelihood of certain types of weather events to occur.

Changes have been observed in the amount, intensity, frequency, and types of precipitation. There have been impacts on the amounts of widespread increase in heavy precipitation. The IPCC conluded that human activity had likely contributed to an increase in the frequency of heavy precipitation weather events.

Climate projections show that there will likely be overall increases in the global average of precipitation, but the main thing is that there will be substantial shifts in where and how precipitation falls.

Evidence suggests that since the 1970s, there have been substantial increases in the intensity and duration of tropical storms and hurricanes, this is clearly one of the impacts of global warming. Models project a general tendency for more intense but fewer storms outside the tropics.

Since the late 20th century there have been changes observed in the trends of extreme weather and climate events such as "heat Waves". Human activity is likely the cause of these changes according to experts.

Projections for the 21st century suggest that these changes will continue for several of these extreme weather events.

Here are some of the impacts that extreme weather will have on our planet.

- There will be an impact and an increase in the amount of areas affected by drought.

- There will be an increase in the amount of tropical cyclone activity.

- There will also be an increase in extremely high sea levels.

These impacts of global warming and climate change will have adverse impacts on ecosystems and on human society in general.

These impacts of global warming and climate change will have adverse impacts on ecosystems and on human society in general.

It is estimated that the regional impacts of global warming will vary in nature.
Some of the regional impacts are due to generalized global change such as rising temperatures or melting ice. In some other cases the impacts may be related to a change in a particular ocean current or a particular weather system. In these cases the regional effects may be unbalanced and they will not follow the global trend.

Coastal areas should suffer severe impacts from rising sea levels in most regional areas. The influence of humans on our climate can be seen in the geographical pattern of observed warming. There are greater temperature increases over land and in the polar regions, instead of over the oceans. Using models it is easy to see the human effect over land and ocean covered areas.

The projections of the impacts of global warming on regional areas is made with less confidence then for the global trends and the global effects global warming will have on our planet. Generally speaking though, it is expected that future global warming will follow a similar geographical pattern to that seen already, with the greatest warming occuring over land and high northern latitudes, and the least amount of warming over the southern ocean and parts of the north atlantic ocean.

Continued on the next page.

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