Drinking: Causes And Consequences Of Global Warming

2130 Words 9 Pages
As a result of global warming, there is not a corner of the worlds’ oceans left unaffected by anthropogenic disturbances. The heating of Earth’s surface occurs through a life supporting process known as the greenhouse effect. This is a natural process where heat from solar radiation passing through the atmosphere is absorbed by gases and radiated back to the surface (Bradford A 2014). However, human activities, such as deforestation, industrial processes, and fossil fuel combustion are polluting the atmosphere with excess greenhouse gases (GHGs); the major ones being carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (NO2), methane (NH4), and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). The additional concentrations of these gases intensify the greenhouse effect, causing …show more content…
It is at this point undeniable that changing environmental conditions are having serious implications on the ecosystem and its life processes. Although the marine environment is a separate system, its deteriorating conditions are not an issue apart from our own. Humans depend on marine ecosystem functions and services that are being heavily depleted due to the synergistic effects of global warming with all other anthropogenic disturbances. The ocean provides the greatest total primary productivity; however, global warming is impairing the efficiency of this service. The combination of habitat deterioration, transitions from complex to simple ecosystems, nutrient limitations, and increased stratification in lower latitudes altering global productivity patterns are leading to significant declines in the total primary productivity of the ocean (Rogers AD, Laffoley D 2013). Even though fisheries are becoming of increasingly high demand, catch rates are expected to be greatly impacted with the fluctuations and shifts of global warming. These changes are compromising fish recruitment, displacing commercially important species to colder and deeper waters, and collapsing phytoplankton populations, which creates bottom-up effects that are reducing fisheries abundance (Brierely AS, Kingsford MJ 2009). Many organisms are already living just within their thermal limits, with the expectation of thresholds to be surpassed with any further increases. Without existing phenotypic plasticity, organisms cannot acclimate to these changes and so the resulting mass migrations and mortalities will lead to local extinctions and highly unstable ecosystems (Vinagre C et al. 2016). If immediate and substantial action is not taken, even the fate of our own future generations will be uncertain. It would only be a matter of time until ecosystems and their services crash, severe weather patterns become life

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