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Key Point 1

Global Climate Change

There is the general consensus between most scientists that the climate on earth is changing, with the earth warming up from human activities. With global warming, species and their habitats on earth are on the decrease while ecosystems are diminishing recently. During the 20th Century technology developed markedly. Furthermore, mass production system of all types made it appear that humankind was thriving in large cities, based upon mass consumption. However, mass consumption of fossil fuel in the 20th Century has led to the acceleration in the global warming trend due to greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide; this in turn has brought about like global climate changes as well as the sea level rise. The sea level has risen along with the increase in atmospheric temperature and adversely impacted the natural balance. Tuvalu located in the South Pacific is one example, videos showing seawater rushing far inland at high tide, portending the destruction of this nation.

According to the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2014), the average global temperature will rise 2.6 to 4.8℃ by the year 2100, relative to 1990, and the amounts of sea level rise will range from 45 to 82 cm. This sea level change is primarily due to thermal expansion of ocean waters and loss of mass from melting glaciers and ice caps. The corresponding study of global warming by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concludes that there is a one percent chance that the global sea level could rise by more than 4 m over the next two centuries. Numerous investigations confirm that the indirect effects may be more significant than the direct effects by global warming in this century: rising sea level inundating low lands, eroding beaches, and increasing the salinity of rivers and estuaries. Climate change also affects the frequency and intensity of some extreme phenomena. The extent and severity of storm impacts may increase as a result of regional climate changes.

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