Impact of Global Warming!

Global warming not only involves an increase in temperature, it also leads to a host of other environmental problems. You sure you want to stay complacent about it?

The impact of global warming is slowly emerging, such include the rise in sea-level, the occurrence of extreme weather events, as well as changes to ecological systems.

Temperature increase, along with sea-ice melting, have lead to substantial sea-level rise since the year 1880. Consequently, many low lying areas may become submerged under water, causing residents to lose their homes.  In the Mediterranean areas, many of the world heritage sites as designated by UNESCO, such as Venice and the Italian city of Pisa, now faces the risk of damage due to sea-level rise.

Global Warming will also increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. Over the past year, extreme weather events have occured in various parts of the world. Extreme weather events can leads to flight cancellation, suspension of work and education, infrastructural damage, economic losses and even injuries and deaths.

Changes in climate and the environment not only affect human, it also disturbs the biological cycles of species, hence, will affect ecological systems and the entire food chain. According to a research published on the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 88 species are impacted by Phenological Synchrony. As a result of increasing temperature, 99% of newborn green sea turtles in Australia are now a female. A report from IPCC has stated that if the global average temperature is increased for 2℃, all of the world's coral will go into extinction.

Average global temperature in the first half of 2020 is the second highest recorded 

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the average global temperature from January to June this year is 1.07℃ above the average of the last century. Such is the second highest since record begins in 1880, second only to the 2016 record (1.12℃ above average of the last century). In the first half of this year, abnormally high temperature has mainly occured in Northern, Middle and Eastern Europe, as well as in Northern Asia.

Unusual heatwaves hit the Arctic in the first half of this year

The Copernicus Climate Change Services - an European climate monitoring organization, found that the May average temperature in Siberia is 10℃ higher than the regular monthly average. The northeast of the region was hit by heatwaves.


In June, the average temperature in Siberia is still 5℃above average level. In June 20th, a small town called Verkhoyansk recorded a temperature of 38℃. If such record is validated by the World Meteorological Organization, it will become the highest temperature ever recorded in the Arctic Circle.

As climate change batters the UK, local farmers face under-harvest

The Met Office predicted that "very hot temperature" of 40℃or above will appear in the UK once in 3 to 4 years towards the end of this century, base on a high carbon emission scenario. 38.7℃is the current highest temperature in UK, recorded in the city of Cambridge in July 2019.

This year, UK experienced the most humid February ever recorded. Multiple storms have caused widespread flooding. Such is followed by the sunniest March, April and May ever recorded, where some regions have even experienced small heat waves. Extreme weathers have impacted heavily on local agriculture. The National Farmer's Union predicted a 30% decrease in local wheat harvest this year, which would be  the lowest record since 1980.

Antarctica surrenders to climate change

as it warms by 0.6℃ every decade

Antarctica was once believed to be unaffected by global warming. However, scientists have found that the region is warming by 0.6℃per decade, which is 3 times the average warming speed of the rest of the world. This February, a research station in the Antarctic Peninsula recorded a temperature of 18.3℃- the highest ever recorded in the region.

Currently, West Antarctica is experiencing severe sea-ice melting. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is melting rapidly, which may leads to drastic sea level rise, as well as affecting global atmospheric and ocean circulation.

Looking back at the hottest summer ever recorded in Hong Kong

This year, Hong Kong has experienced its hottest summer ever recorded. Average temperature for this year's June, July and August is 29.6℃ - the highest ever recorded since 1884. 3 new hot weather records are marked in July: including the 'highest number of very hot days in a month' (20 days), 'highest number of hot nights in a month' (21 nights), and the 'longest consecutive record of the Very Hot Weather Warning' (467 hours).

 

A night with temperature above 28℃ is termed 'hot night'. A research from the Chinese University of Hong Kong has found that a single hot night will increase the risk of fatality by 2.43. When 5 consecutive hot nights occurs, the risk of fatality will increase by 6.66%.

Climate change has caused this year’s

apocalyptic wildfire in the west coast

This year, the US west coast has experienced the most severe wildfire since 2003. Scientists suggested that climate change has caused this year’s abnormally hot, dry and windy condition in the west coast - which all becomes the catalyst for an “extreme wildfire”. The temperature in the west coast has been rising for 0.11°C every 10 years on average, alongside an increase in its Drought Index. Accumulated warming, plus the drought occurred this summer, have dried out a lot of the forest in the west coast. When a wildfire occurs, the dried wood becomes an easily flammable source of fuel.

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