• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Is the impact of global warming restricted to changing sea levels and vegetation patterns?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Is the impact of global warming restricted to changing sea levels and vegetation patterns? Global Warming is principally the increase in the earth's temperature due to the use of fossil fuels and other industrial processes leading to a build-up of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and chlorofluorocarbons) in the atmosphere. It has been known since 1896 that carbon dioxide helps stop the sun's infrared radiation from escaping into space and thus functions to maintain the earth's relatively warm temperature (greenhouse effect). There is however growing evidence that the increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere over the last century are leading to elevated global temperatures. Which could principally result in a sea level rise (through the melting of glaciers and polar ice caps) and changes to the world's vegetation patterns (through climatic changes). This in turn relates to the essays main aim, by discussing the 'view' that global warming could be restricted by these immediate consequences. One could say that the theories for changes in sea level and global vegetation patterns are more or less being proven conclusive in the form of physical evidence by means of photographs and scientific observations. Physical evidence if published in a scientific journal for example would convey the reality of global warming to the viewer, more or less proving that it was not just a scientific theory. This availability of hard evidence for the increasing global sea levels and changes in vegetation patterns would more or less 'shun' the rather weaker evidence for the other potential consequences, thus confirming that the impact of global warming was restricted. ...read more.

Middle

The soil would then be more susceptible to wind erosion and leaching by rainwater, as transpiration would be reduced therefore reducing its fertility. Eventually making current or potential agricultural activity in this area extremely difficult as well as increasing the chance of desertification occurring. Forests and animal species will find it difficult to escape from or adjust to the effects of warming because humans occupy so much land. Under global warming vegetation will shift their ranges, seeking new areas, as old habitats grow too warm. In many places, however, human development will prevent this shift. Species that find cities or farmlands blocking there way north or south may die out. Many Boreal forests, unable to propagate toward the poles fast enough, may disappear. It is estimated that within the next 100 years many species would have to migrate between 100 and 340 miles in the direction of the poles. The upper end of this range is a distance typically covered by migrating forests in millennia, not in decades. Changing vegetation patterns could also cause some types of forest to displace each other, Boreal forests for example could be come displaced by temperate deciduous forests if the changed local climate favoured the growth of deciduous trees (increased local air temperature). However much evidence points to the fact that global warming might not be restricted by global sea level rises and changes in vegetation patterns. Global warming for example could cause a spectrum of largely negative impacts on human health. ...read more.

Conclusion

This view of global warming being restricted to two impacts is influenced by the fact that the media and most scientific journals refer to them more often. The melting of the ice caps is much more heard of when talking about global warming than the bleaching of corals for instance, thus influencing people's perception of the potential impacts of global warming. The fact that the melting of the ice caps and changing of vegetation patterns might seem so catastrophic for the human race it can lead many people to ignore the other potential consequences. Which may have little impact for human civilisation but cause huge impacts for the globes bio-diversity and environment (non-human). One could also argue that the other impacts of global warming could be controlled by human intervention, as they are less global in terms of their impact. A greater vaccination rate or improved research into cures for diseases could for example control human health risks posed by global warming. While rising sea levels and changes to global vegetation patterns would be much more difficult to control. I firmly believe that the world's climate is the key to the intensity and distribution of the impact of global warming. Climate influences all of the major impacts of global warming, it for example causes the air temperature rise in Antarctica so causing the edges of the ice sheet to retreat, it causes the increase in ocean temperatures causing the coral reefs to bleach. It can also cause a change in local climates thus affecting global vegetation patterns. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Physical Geography section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Physical Geography essays

  1. To what extent should Walton-on-the-naze be protected from the sea?

    The bricks and pipeline are both evidence of the processes I have just explained so therefore they show clear evidence of the sea affecting the naze. Here you can see vegetation on top of these very low cliffs at the unprotected side of Walton, note the clear contrast in rock layer.

  2. The Truth about Climate Change

    If we try, we can all reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that we put into the atmosphere. As I've said, these greenhouse gases trap the solar energy in the atmosphere and make the Earth warmer, so if we reduce greenhouse gases, we're reducing the effects of climate change.

  1. An Investigation Into Kingston Area Shopping Centres and Their Patterns of Use

    There are three main concepts on which the theory is based upon: range goods/service, threshold population and the sphere of influence. The range of goods or service is the minimum distance people will travel to purchase goods or services offered by a Central Place, and the threshold population is the minimum population size required to profitably maintain a service.

  2. The structure of the Earth and the impact of volcanic eruptions.

    At constructive plate boundaries, the earthquakes tend to be less severe as the friction and pressure of plates moving apart is less intense than at destructive plate boundaries. Earthquakes at conservative plate margins tends to be of a greater strength as when the plates slide past each other, they could get caught up which would build up stress and pressure.

  1. Geog climates

    The area is covered with snow for most of the year. It is unsurprising, that not many people live there. The climate is dues to the areas high latitudinal position and remoteness from sea. Temperature and rainfall vary from place to place, and often influence each other.

  2. Plannng an expedition to an extreme environment.Svalbard. Glaciers as an attraction and under threat.

    2: The ice moves at the rate of 241 metres every year from 1983 to 2003. The map shows the glacier melted the most in 1983 to 2003, the gap between 1900 to 1916 is smaller therefore I can say that less ice receded then.

  1. Social Environments.

    They also requested broadband capabilities because of the high number of service people who may be away from home and needing to be contacted by their families. There is an extensive bus service catering for travel to work, shopping centres, and schools.

  2. Physical Geography Earth revision notes

    4. Salt tolerant plants are called halophytes . This is a species that is adapted to the harsh conditions including being under water twice a day at high tide . It?s tangle of roots also helps to trap sediment and stabilize the mud in the low marsh 5.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work