Any change in the weather conditions of a place which is apparent since a long time is called climate change. This could be a change in usual temperature for a particular time, rain or snowfall patterns obtained in a month and so on. Many reasons are behind this are volcanic eruptions, difference in radiations falling on Earth etc. Many activities of man are also believed to result in the change in climate.
It is observed that our planet’s temperature has increased by one degree Fahrenheit in the last 100 years indicating that it is becoming warmer. Given below are the advantages and disadvantages of climate change.
Advantages of Climate Change
- Prevents ice age
Ice age is the period in which the temperature drops to an extent that life becomes extremely difficult on Earth. It is believed that there has been five ice ages till date with regular warmer intervals. The climate change we experience now is a result of global warming where the temperature of the planet is gradually increasing. This could prevent the next ice age from happening.
- Milder climates in otherwise cold regions
Places like Antarctic and Arctic are considered uninhabitable because of their extreme cold climatic conditions. These places are covered with ice with no traces of plant growth. But with the changing climate, it is hoped that these places will have milder climates in the coming years. Chances of vegetation are also not less.
- Better agricultural production
The change in climate has resulted in varying length of different seasons. In many places winter has reduced giving way to summer. There are some places where the growing season has prolonged. This would mean improved agricultural productivity.
- Lesser injuries due to cold
Every year, a large number of people are hospitalized for illness due to the cold. Extreme conditions could lead to even death. Winters see people affected by frost bite. All these could be escaped with the changing climatic conditions.
- Use of Northwest Passage
Due to the ice sheets many parts around arctic are inaccessible and unfit for travel. There is a sea route to the north of Arctic Circle in Northern Canada called Northwest Passage that reduces the travel time between Europe and Asia. Right now, ships use the route only during warmer days. It is assumed that when the ice melts as a result of global warming, this route can be used more frequently.
Disadvantages of Climate Change
- Melting of ice
The rise in temperature will lead to the melting of ice in the Polar Regions. This means an increase in the flowing water and higher sea level. A rise in the sea level causes floods in low-lying areas which could be followed by diseases and deaths.
- Affects plant growth
Plants require an optimum temperature and rainfall to grow well. The recent years have seen unpredicted rainfall and weather conditions. This would affect their growth and even lead to their extinction and desertification.
- Loss of habitat
Changes in climate will result in the loss of habitat for animals and plants. Forest fires have become very common due to the varying temperature. Forests are home to a large number of plants and animals. These fires and storms destroy their habitat.
- Deaths and diseases
The changing conditions of weather have already taken a lot of lives. Many diseases are caused as the temperature keeps on fluctuating. When the temperature becomes too high, the chances of heatstroke rise. It is a condition which causes fever and unconsciousness as the body cannot get adjusted to extreme heat.
- Increased emigration
When the climate at a place becomes unbearable, it is natural for people to immigrate to better places. People from low-lying countries go to wealthier countries in search of a better living condition. This would also lead to increased air pollution and related diseases.