“Recent global industrialisationhas resulted in average worldwide temperatures increasing by 0.8 degreesCelsius in the last century” (Board of atmospheric sciences and climate).Increasing global temperatures will have a detrimental effect on the Earth asit will have many consequences that will be extensive and hard-hitting. This isdue to the fact climate change will cause increased risk of droughts, in 2014; “climatechange worsened a drought in Eastern Africa and in the Levant region ofsouthern Syria.
“(National Geographic).There will be greater intensity of storms,especially in the region bounded by the tropics, specifically storms like hurricanesor cyclones with elevated wind speeds resulting in a more damaging effect onus. According to NASA, “changes in climate will also affect extremetemperatures meaning a greater probability of record hot weather attributing tothe increased likelihood of weather-related natural disasters.” Also in 2014,climate change caused the heat waves in Australia substantially more probableand life-threatening and in South America, human-induced climate change made “Argentina’sheat wave five times more likely.”(National Geographic) A warming climate meansthat a larger amount of water vapour will vaporise into the aerosphere and isthe main component in storm formation. “If we are creating an atmosphere moreloaded with humidity, any storm that does develop has greater potential todevelop into an intense storm,” says Tselioudis.
“Warming that has already occurredsince 1980 has increased sea surface temperatures 0.3 degrees Celsius, whichshould increase the maximum potential wind speed of hurricanes by at least 1knot” (NASA,according to hurricane intensity models). Sea temperatures at the regionwhere Harvey intensified and enlarged were 0.5-1C warmer than current-dayaverage temperatures, which means 3-5% more moisture in the atmosphere.
There are alternative environmental differencesthat could make the storms more fatal. Melting glaciers and ice caps result in additionalsea level rise which will become more substantial over the next decade, whichmakes coastal flooding more severe when a storm comes ashore. In their 2001report, the IPCC stated that “sea levels will rise 0.11 to 0.
77 meters by 2100.”This creates a greater amount of moisture in the air so severe downpours acrossthe world are becoming more foreseeable. For example, “in Houston they have become167 percent more frequent in the past decade” (according to vox.com).
It’s notjust hurricanes and floods that climate change is having an impact on, it’sexacerbating wildfires too. In California, the exceptionally high temperaturescaused years of drought which is left behind a vast amount of dry vegetation.But, last year intense rainfall occurred leading to the growth very combustibleplants. Then what followed this year was a prolonged period of extraordinary heat,which was California’s hottest summer ever recorded, reaching temperatures of106 degrees Fahrenheit in downtown San Francisco. The hotter temperaturescaused the atmosphere to warm up, the air expands and can hold more moisture.This pulls more moisture out of plants, creating drier conditions earlier inthe season.
The extremely hot temperatures and the strong northerly winds ledto the devastating wildfires that ripped through the state. Climate change wasthe main cause of this wildfire as a study found that “climate change due tohuman activity accounted for roughly 55 percent of the aridity in Western USforests between 1979 and 2015” (Dr John Abatzoglou). This means that withoutclimate change the disaster would have only spread half as much and would havenot caused the devastation that happened.