The Future Of The Greenhouse Effect Research Paper
Over the past few decades, there has been much debate and discussion concerning the impacts of the greenhouse effect and climate change on the planet. But while there is consensus among the scientific community that these can result in crises for society and the environment at large, just exactly what these crises are remains a question for many. In other words, people know that climate change due to the greenhouse effect spells disaster, but what specifically these disasters are is often unclear. The simple answer is that the full extent of the greenhouse effect will likely involve a host of problems in various facets of life. But to be more specific, the greenhouse effect in the future will likely have the greatest impact on sea levels, biodiversity, and agriculture.
The greenhouse effect is projected to cause massive consequences for sea levels across the globe in the future. As average temperatures continue to rise due to heat trapped in the atmosphere, ice sheets across the globe are melting at a rapid pace. For instance, studies have shown that glaciers around the world are melting much faster than expected. Water from the melted ice, in turn, is added to the oceans to the point that sea levels rise. Although the rise is gradual, sea levels may be high enough in the future to flood coastal and low-lying areas. For instance, many of the world’s major cities are located in coastal areas. Megacities such as Osaka, Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai, New York, and Hong Kong will be flooded, thereby necessitating the migration of tens if not hundreds of millions of people. The rise of sea levels and the accompanying problems represent a tremendous financial, humanitarian, and infrastructural challenge to future generations.
The future of the greenhouse effect will also see profound changes in the planet’s biodiversity. Biodiversity, or the variety of life form in a given ecosystem, is threatened by climate change resulting from the greenhouse effect. For instance, the increase in the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere leads to acidification of the ocean. Acidification, in turn, has a detrimental effect on the formation of coral reefs that provide habitat for a wide variety of marine life. Disruptions in the marine biodiversity can ultimately affect fish populations, thus potentially depriving humans of a major source of food. On land, plants and animals that fail to adapt to rising temperatures may go extinct, thus contributing to the loss of biodiversity. Consider, for instance, how the extinction of one species of plant can lead to the extinction of another species of animal that relies on the said plant for food or habitat. Overall, biodiversity is essential to maintaining the food chain upon which humans depend for their needs. Loss of biodiversity, therefore, can result in the loss of vital resources for humans.
Finally, the greenhouse effect can also have negative impacts on agriculture in the future. Agriculture is the core of society’s sustenance. However, the escalation of the greenhouse effect could only mean the aggravation of climate change’s effects. Shifts in the temperature, extreme weather events, and changes in climate patterns can mess up with agricultural processes, thus resulting in decreased agricultural yields. With less crops being produced, people will face higher prices for agricultural goods and even food insecurity. Unfortunately, impoverished and marginalized communities will be the first to suffer from these consequences.
In conclusion, the greenhouse effect is projected to cause daunting problems in the future. Three of these problems are rising sea levels brought about by the melting of ice, loss of biodiversity that plays such an important role in sustaining human needs, and decreased agricultural yield resulting from disruptions in agricultural processes. With such extreme issues looming in the horizon, it begs the question of what society can do to avoid these. Fortunately, it is not too late to do something about the greenhouse effect and the resulting climate change. If society would only make a concerted effort to change its ways, perhaps a better future can be secured for future generations.