Four different ways the earth has been impacted by climate change are the rising sea levels, the decreasing amount of ice coverage in Greenland, the higher amount of hydrological natural disasters world, and the rising amount of forest fires in the U.S. From NOAA’s article, Climate Change: Global Sea Level, there is a graph that shows the change in sea level in millimeters compared to the 1993-2008 average sea level by year from 1880 to 2020. This graph shows that in 1880, the sea level was 175 millimeters under the average.
Now, in 2020, it is 75 millimeters above average. We can also see that from 2006-2015, the water rose approximately 1.4 millimeters per year, when the years before, it only rose 0.6 millimeters per year.
From NSIDC, Greenland Ice Sheet Today, there is a graph that shows how much ice in Greenland melted in 2019 April to October by percentage. The median line, the average from 1981 to 2010, is uniform single-peaked where the percentage of the melting increased between June and August.
The highest that the percentage ever got was around 18% in mid-July. The 2019 line is single-peaked but is not uniform and the melting increased between June and August. The highest percentage was at around 60% in early August. In National Geographic, How to live with it wild weather, there is a graph that shows the number of hydrological, (flooding.) natural disasters that had happened worldwide each year from 1980 to 2014. In 1980, there were 88 cases. In 2014, there were 413 hydrological cases.
From NASA’s, Six Trends to Know About Fire Season in Western U.
S., the graph shows the number of forest fires in the U.S. from 1950 to 2017. In 1950, there were about 200 fires. In 2017, there are about 1,350. 61% of all the fires on the graph happened from 2000 to 2017. Through the data about rising sea levels, we can conclude that there has been a change in the climate over the past 140 years. The sea levels are rising, and more rapidly. Rising sea levels would have negative effects on the earth like flooding, land erosion, and more serious storms. For cities on the coast, rising sea levels can be destructive because they can damage public infrastructures and be expensive to repair. Coastal ecosystems can also be damaged by rising sea levels. The rising sea levels can contaminate agricultural soil and vital aquifers. This can negatively affect agriculture and sea life, which can disrupt food webs, jeopardizing food production and creating shortages.
From the data of melting ice in Greenland, we can see that the ice is melting in larger quantities in 2019 than in the median year of 1981-2010. Melting ice can the effects of global warming because it can produce more water vapor, which is a greenhouse gas. When land absorbs solar energy, the temperature rises, and ice and snow reflect solar energy back into the atmosphere or into space. Since ice is melting and more land is exposed, more solar energy is being absorbed, and so the temperatures are rising. Melting ice raises sea levels too. In places that have been frozen for centuries, when the ice melts, viruses and diseases and greenhouse gasses trapped under the ice can escape and affect organisms or contribute to the greenhouse effect. Creatures who live on or near ice can also lose habitat. Viruses killing organisms and loss of habitat disrupt food webs and could affect species, causing overpopulation, extinction, etc. If they affect species that are sources of food, they can also cause food shortages.
Through the data about the amount of hydrological natural disasters (flooding), we know that the number of hydrological natural disasters increased approximately 4.7 times the original amount in the past 34 years. The negative effects of hydrological disasters include property damage, homelessness, and death. Flooding seawater can kill plants and fish and destroy harvests. Livestock can also drown during floods. Constant saltwater flooding would create conditions that plants would not be able to grow well because of the amount of salt in the soil. Because food sources are being killed and food webs are being disrupted, overpopulation and extinction of certain species may occur. There might also be shortages of food that were unable to harvest that year. Property damage and homelessness can be very expensive for governments and people when repairing entire cities.
From the data of the amount of forest fires in the U.S., we know that the number of forest fires in the U.S. had increased 6.75 times over 67 years. The negative effects of forest fires are the decline of nutrients in the soil, the burning of a carbon sink, the loss of habitat for plants and animals, and homes can also be destroyed. Forests are carbon sinks, which means that they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and when they burn, not only is a carbon sink getting destroyed, but more carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere because the burning produces carbon dioxide.
The ash destroyed all the nutrients in the soil, so plants can’t grow and the land is left bare. Since plants can’t grow, animals can’t live there either, and so the organisms will have to move to another place. That would disrupt or collapse the ecosystem hat they were from and the one that they move to and create problems for the food webs. Humans, like the animals, can also be left homeless and have to repair homes. In conclusion, my four effects of climate change: rising sea levels, the decreasing amount of ice coverage in Greenland, the higher amount of hydrologic natural disasters in the world, and the rising amount of forest fires in the U.S., have many negative effects including starvation, disease, loss of habitat, homelessness, the destruction of ecosystems and food webs, more greenhouse gasses being emitted, colossal amounts of money being spent on repairs and more.