Consequences of climate changes

Based on the researches of the International Organism that studies climate changes, IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), the increase in the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is the main cause of the intensification of the following phenomena:

Increase in Planet temperature:  from 1860 to date, the Earth’s  average temperature has increased 0.6°C  and almost 1°C in Europe alone. Scientists have estimated a further increase in the temperature ranging between 1.4°C and 5.8°C by the end of the century.
Increase in the precipitation:  mainly in the Northern Hemisphere, and in particular in the middle and high latitudes. In the tropical and subtropical regions, instead, a decrease in the amount of rain.
Increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme climatic events : there still are no scientific data to demonstrate this point, however one of the consequences of  climate changes apparently seems to be the increase in catastrophic events. In fact there may be long periods of draught, sudden exceptional rainfall, floods, waves of excessive heat and cold. Tropical cyclones may be strengthened by violent rainfall, winds and the sea level.
Increase in the risk of desertification  in some areas.
Decrease in the glaciers and permafrost: 9 glaciers out of 10 in the world are melting, and it is probable that by 2050, 75% of the Swiss glaciers will have disappeared.
Rise in the sea level: during the last 100 years, the sea level increased 10-25 cm and it seems that it might increase 88 cm more by 2100. At least 70 million inhabitants in the coastal areas of Europe may be at risk.
Loss of biodiversity: many animal species will not be able to adapt to these rapid climate changes. In fact experts have established that ecosystems can adapt to changes amounting to 1°C in a century. Among the animals that are most endangered, we find the polar bears, seals, walruses and penguins.
Problems in food production: with excessive rainfall and intense heat,  cultures are at risk, and famine and malnutrition follow. FAO has estimated that there will be a loss of approximately 11% of the land that is fit for cultivation in the developing countries by 2080, with a decrease in the production of cereals and a consequent increase in world hunger.
Diffusion of diseases: it seems that climate change can favour the diffusion of tropical diseases such as malaria and dengue. In fact the mosquitoes that carry these diseases are shifting north, where the temperature is rising. Furthermore an increase in temperature favours the biological pollution of water, which leads to a proliferation of infesting organisms.

Special reports

From the Multimedia section

  • air

    The greenhouse effect

    Look

    ecosystems

    Deforestation

    Look

    air

    Albedo

    Look
  • air

    Future scenarios of an increase in the temperature

    Look

    air

    Icebergs, ice packs and glaciers

    Look

    air

    Mean sea level rise foreseen by IPCC

    Look
  • air

    Desertification

    Look

    air

    Life-cycle of different gases in the atmosphere

    Look

    air

    Save the air

    Listen
  • air

    The greenhouse effect

    Look

    ecosystems

    Deforestation

    Look
  • air

    Albedo

    Look

    air

    Future scenarios of an increase in the temperature

    Look
  • air

    Icebergs, ice packs and glaciers

    Look

    air

    Mean sea level rise foreseen by IPCC

    Look

Facts

  • 24 February 2011

    What about the permafrost?

    In Sub Arctic Swedish regions, some scientists studied the changes of permafrost...

  • 23 February 2012

    CO2 “eating” trees

    If a tree “eats” CO2 and produces oxygen it is easy to understand the importance it has in reducing the…

  • 3 March 2011

    How hot it is!

    When we feel an oppressive heat, our first thought goes to...