Is Climate Change Impacting our Australian Summer?

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While not all agree with the tenants of global warming, many people believe that our summers are getting hotter every year.

As the world’s population increases, more carbon emissions are being produced. This, it is believed, contributes to the overall seriousness of climate change. The increasing number of wildfires forming – especially near the Arctic Circle – is attributed to this change in our climate.

In January 2018, Penrith, a Sydney suburb, experienced temperatures as high as 47.3 degrees. The last time the temperature in any area of Sydney reached 47 degrees was in 1939.

According to one climate scientist from Australian National University, both Melbourne and Sydney could start seeing 50-degree days more regularly within the next 20 or 30 years. It will no longer be unusual for temperatures to get that high.

There is no question that climate change makes people uncomfortable. No one likes to be in an environment with a lot of heat. We use air conditioners to make ourselves feel better, but the energy used to power our air conditioners actually contributes to climate change, too.

If the people of the world don’t figure out a way to switch to green energy and stop climate change, there could be irreversible consequences.

Below are five of the top dangers that Australians face because of climate change:

1. Heatwaves

Heatwaves are supposed to be just temporary rises in temperature. Australia gets them periodically, but it seems that heatwaves are becoming more frequent as time goes on.

Heatwaves will eventually be a regular occurrence in major Australian cities like Melbourne and Sydney.

According to health professionals, prolonged exposure to extreme heat can cause abnormal health conditions in the human body. For instance, heat causes your blood to rise toward your skin so that it can be cooled down by your sweat.

If your body stays in this condition for too long, its organs will not receive the blood they need to function properly. This can result in blood poisoning and organ damage.

2. Rising Sea Levels

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When you see hurricanes hitting the shores of coastal cities, there are typically storm surges which cause water levels to rise between 2 and 3.5 metres. These water levels usually subside, so most people think it is no big deal.

But imagine if those water levels stayed at that height and never subsided. You would have massive amounts of land covered by water, along with several destroyed buildings.

This is what will happen if sea levels rise because of climate change and global warming. As warm air causes global ice caps to melt, waters will rise.

Some coastal areas of the world are already investing billions of dollars in raising their roadways because of the rising sea levels.

Of course, this is only a temporary solution because the sea levels will keep rising to obscene heights unless we tackle the global warming problem.

3. Drought

Drought is another result of climate change. This might seem strange after mentioning the sea levels are rising. However, think about the areas that are inland.

If excessive amounts of heat cause the air to dry out, that environment will experience less precipitation than normal. This will create a drought which has a negative effect on farmlands and crop growth.

4. Coral Destruction

Coral reefs will be destroyed by global warming. Under normal temperatures, the ocean water has a high level of pH. This means that there are high alkalinity and low acidity in the water.

As a result, the coral can stay strong and create hard structures. They are even responsible for creating the shells of certain sea creatures, such as crabs, lobsters, oysters, and clams.

But if climate change has its way, the acidity of the ocean water will increase. Once that happens, the whole marine ecosystem will be compromised.

5. Extinction

If the first four dangers occur, then Australians will be on their way to extinction. They won’t be able to grow crops or fish for food because everything will be dead. There will even be a lack of drinkable water.

Without these necessities of life, people will die of starvation or malnutrition. Because of its continental makeup and position, Australia will probably be the first country to experience this effect, too. Other countries will soon follow as climate change dominates the entire world.

Image via Pixabay CC0 License

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