Consequences of global climate change

Consequences of Global Warming
January 11, 2016 – 11:00 am

This has been the warmest decade since 1880. In 2010, global surface temperatures tied 2005 as the warmest on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Scientists say that the earth could warm by an additional 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit during the 21st century if we fail to reduce emissions from burning fossil fuels, such as coal and oil. This rise in average temperature will have far-reaching effects on the earth's climate patterns and on all living things. Many of these changes have already begun.

Weather patterns

Hot, dry weather led to a record-setting 2006 wildland fire season with close to 100, 000 fires reported and nearly 10 million acres burned, 125 percent above the decade's average.

Wildlife

Scientists report that some polar bears are drowning because they have to swim longer distances to reach ice floes. Unless we take effective action now, the polar bear will likely become extinct in Alaska by 2050.

Glaciers & sea levels

At the current rate of retreat, all of the glaciers in Glacier National Park will be gone by 2070.

Photo credits: storm: iStock; inhaler: iStock; polar bear: Corbis; flood: iStock.

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