Effects of Carbon Dioxide
OK, so humans greatly interrupt the balance of CO2 on the earth. But why is CO2 in excess harmful?
Carbon dioxide in excess causes what we call the “Greenhouse Gas Effect”. Sun rays can still get through the atmosphere. However, the thick layer of CO2 will only allow some of the heat to escape again, while some just reflects back to earth, thus causing what is known as “Global Warming” or “Global Climate Change”. Because the heat is trapped between the earth and the atmosphere, it causes the ice caps in the north and south poles to melt and also warms the water. With the water temperatures rising, the marine life, such as whales, fish, and kelp will die. That will subsequently hurt much of the land animals such as polar bears, arctic birds, arctic wolves, seals, and walruses to die because their food source is dying. Without the ice, all of these animals are losing their natural habitat. Remember, the natural amount of CO2 in the atmosphere 0.039%. Because of humans, that number is now up to 35%! The ice also functions to reflect sunlight back into space, but when it melts, the sunlight and heat is then absorbed by the dark ocean.
How does that affect us? We don’t live at the North Pole.
With the ice caps melting, that causes the water levels in all of the oceans to rise. That means that if we don’t start doing something now, many coastal areas will go under water. Also, the water will not rise at the same rate. When water is heated in one area, it expands but only in that area! This means that certain places on earth will have more rapid water level rise!
Permafrost is soil and rock that has remains frozen throughout the year. Because the Earth is heating, permafrost is melting. Since many structures (buildings, train tracks, oil lines, etc.) are built upon permafrost, when melts, the structure no longer stands as it is supposed to: buildings sink or collapse, train tracks become unusable, oil lines separate and break.
Melting permafrost is also to blame for some vanishing lakes. The soil under lakes is usually frozen, so when it melts an effect is caused similar to pulling a plug out of a drain. All the water seeps through the soil, and all that is left afterwards is a gaping crater.
Species Change of Range
As the world heats, species begin to migrate because of the weather. Organisms need very specific conditions to be able to live, so if it gets hot in one area, the species move to a region they can live in, like winter migration. “It’s natural!” you might say, but not necessarily, plants take many more generations to move than animals do. For example, say there were a hummingbird that could only live on one flower of one specie of tree. If the hummingbird has a need to migrate, they can do so immediately, however the flower cannot. The difference between ranges of the flower and the hummingbird could cause the bird to die out.
Increased Forest Fires
Since droughts are increase because of the lack of rain, we can expect to see more forest fires bloom within already dangerous fire areas. This can cause property damage and health issues.
Some cultural sites require specific climate to still stay standing, such as the Scythian Tombs in Eurasian. Since the mountains are no longer as cold as they once were, the tombs are at risk of collapsing for the same reasons buildings are collapsing because of permafrost.
Ice is melting off of mountains at a great rate, and this is causing the mountains to “grow”. Don’t worry! I’ll explain. The amount of snow and ice on mountains is HEAVY. So many tons of pressure rest upon the mountains’ shoulders, and when that melts and trickles down, there is no more weight holding the mountain down and it expands upward. Imagine you are carrying a really heavy backpack- you are slouched over so you seem shorter, then someone takes it off your back- you are then able to stand up straight and stretch. It’s sort of like that.