Consequences of Climate Change – Predictions From Climate Models

Climate models are computer operated simulation programs that give climatologists a way to predict climate changes due to the changes in natural concentration of greenhouse gases and alterations in earth’s natural ecosystems and habitats. Climate scientists have been collecting data about the climate and temperature changes from around the world for a long period of time and when this data is fed into the climate model, future climate changes and its consequences can be predicted to an extent.

Although the consequences of global climate change may seem to be the stuff of Hollywood – some imagined, dystopian future – the melting ice of the Arctic, the spreading deserts of Africa, and the swamping of low lying lands are all too real. We already live in an ‘age of consequences’, one that will increasingly be defined by the intersection of climate change and the security of nations.

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Climate Change Predictions:

Following are the results of climate models predicting various consequences that may occur due to climate change:

Rise of Global Average Temperature: The global average temperature is expected to rise by 0.64-0.69 degree Celsius by the years 2011-2030 compared with the years 1980-1999. The predictions show a gradual rising trend of earth’s average atmospheric temperature and will force several biomes to shift to high altitude areas or cooler regions. Areas that will be most affected are Alaska and the Arctic regions.

Disruption of Ocean circulation: It is very likely that the climate change will bring in disruption of ocean circulation patterns that keep northern European countries in a suitable temperate range.

Melting of Ice Sheets: With a global temperature rise in the range of 1-4° Celsius, scientists are predicting partial melting of the Greenland and the West Antarctic ice sheet. This prediction is however accepted by IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) under a level of uncertainty because global temperature rise of 1-4 degree Celsius may take hundreds or even thousands of years to occur.

Extreme Weather Events: Due to global temperature rise, intensity of natural events like heat waves, precipitation and evaporation will increase and it will cause extreme weather events such as sever droughts, heavy rainfall, hurricanes, tornadoes etc.. These sever droughts will propagate through many critical ecosystems in North America, southern Europe and Asia, northern Africa, Canada, and Alaska and will result in increasing dry-land areas.

Not only these extreme weather events will cause loss of life and property, it will also increase stress on available natural resources to meet the demand of lost ecosystems.

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