We are witnessing a global climate change that has had devastating effects on the environment. An increase in sea levels, natural disasters, the threat to food production, and shifting weather patterns are only some of the consequences of this phenomenon. Any change in the weather conditions of a place that is apparent for a long time is called climate change. This could be a change in the 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, the difference in radiation falling on Earth, etc. Many activities of man are also believed to result in a change in climate.
It is observed that our planet’s temperature has increased by two degrees Fahrenheit in the last hundred years indicating that it is becoming warmer. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts a temperature rise of 2.5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century. The effects will keep changing depending on how different countries work to mitigate and adapt to these changes.
Given below are the advantages and disadvantages of climate change.
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Advantages of Climate Change
- Prevents ice age
Ice age is the period in which the temperature drops to the extent that life becomes extremely difficult on Earth. It is believed that there have been five ice ages to 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 lengths 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 frostbite. All these could be escaped with the changing climatic conditions.
- Use of Northwest Passage
Due to the ice sheets many parts around the 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 that 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 better living conditions. This would also lead to increased air pollution and related diseases.
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Pros and Cons
Prevents ice age
|Melting of ice|
Milder climates in otherwise cold regions
|Affects plant growth|
Better agricultural production
Loss of habitat
|Lesser injuries due to cold||
Deaths and diseases
|Use of Northwest Passage||