Attention! How A Degree Rise In World Temperatures Is Catastrophic?

October 5, 2020 By Kaustubh Kulkarni

A degree rise of temperature may not sound like much but it is a cause of great worry when it is talked about in terms of world temperature. This one degree may mean the difference between a world with coral reefs and Arctic summer sea ice and a world without them. The impact of this warming will not only be on the environment and climate change but it will also result in poverty, slower economic growth and even wider implications. Here we give you few major but wider impacts of a degree rise in world temperature. 

  1. Higher Ocean Temperatures

Increasing ocean temperatures affect the marine species and ecosystems. It causes the loss of breeding grounds for marine fishes and mammals. 80% of coral reefs are bleached, including the Great Barrier Reef [source : National Geographic]. It is not only the marine species and ecosystem that get affected but it also the humans and the benefits that they derived from these oceans that are impacted for example threatening of food security, increasing the prevalence of various diseases and causing more extreme weather events and the loss of coastal areas. 

  1. Melting Antarctica Ice

A degree rise in the world temperature will and is already making the Antarctic ice sheets melt and thus rise in the sea level which ultimately results in the flooding of the coastal areas. Also this leads to destabilisation of the Antarctic ice & becomes a “runaway” situation as each ice shelf thins and becomes separated from the bottom bathymetry that previously helped keep the warm seawater away.

  1. More Extreme Climates 

Due to a degree rise in the world temperatures the coldest and warmest daily temperatures are expected to increase by at least 5 degrees in the coming decade.

Heat waves will become more frequent with just a degree rise in the world temperature and will cost more lives than ever. In fact the effect of this climate change was seen in the 2015 heat waves in India & Pakistan that killed 2500 people and was the 5th deadliest heat wave in history. 

  1. Increasing Poverty & Economic Slowdown

Researchers at University Of Cambridge say that 7% of global GDP is likely to vanish by the end of the century if world temperature continue to rise as such. Also this rise in degrees create unprecedented challenges for millions of people already burdened by poverty. The increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events like hurricanes, wildfires and droughts caused due to rise in temperatures threaten the world’s food supply, drive people from their homes, separate families and jeopardize livelihoods. And all this increases the risk of war, hunger and poverty.

Apart from these major impacts there are many other effects that are observed due to rise in world temperature.

  • The Atlantic Thermohaline Circulation starts to weaken. In 2013, one of the quietest Atlantic hurricane season observed since 1994 was the result of unexpected weakening of THC.

  • Small Andean glaciers disappear, threatening water supplies for 50 million people [Source : New Scientist].

The planet’s average temperature has risen about 1.1°C since the late 19th century, according to analyses by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The world has seen the and will continue to see the consequences of this 1°C rise in temperature through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes in the last & coming few years. It is time that we take the pledge to cut down on carbon emission at individual level and help our world temperature remain below the defined threshold. Keeping world temperature under control and thus making it more liveable and environmentally sustainable will be the greatest gift we can leave behind for our future generations 

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