In Europe’s most polluted capital, Skopje, we see the shocking effects of pollution. Buildings peak out of the top of a large cloud of smog and pollution. This just goes to show you how horrendous the pollution problem is, and how much it’s affecting the lives of everyone around the world.
We can barely see the tops of the two highest buildings in Macedonia through the thick smog. While we may not see the effects, breathing in this kind of pollution is detrimental to the health of everyone living in the city (People).
In Silent Valley National Park in Kerala, India, wildfires were reported. This is unheard of during these months before summer. According to Down to Earth, “Kerala has witnessed raging wildfires in the last four days as an unusually early summer has raised temperatures by two to three degrees Celsius above average.
The state’s flora and fauna have suffered as a result of climate change-induced extreme weather events.” Because of the globally rising temperatures, this national park is seeing the firsthand negative effects of rising temperatures. The report goes on to say that “over 800 hectares of forest area and grasslands have been lost in the fires despite preventive measures like creation of fire lines and removal of dead wood, according to a rough initial estimate of the forest department.” The wildfires resulted in mass destruction of the environment, and the flora and fauna (Down to Earth).
We’d see inches of water and lush, green plants in Sacramento Valley any other year. But not this year. The soil is naked of any life, and baking in over ninety degrees Fahrenheit heat. This occurred during a horrendous drought in early 2020, but conditions have worsened over the months. Science News says, “low water levels in reservoirs and rivers have forced farmers like Rystrom, whose family has been growing rice on this land for four generations, to slash their water use.”
He is just one farmer negatively impacted by climate change. Rystrom says, “we’ve had to cut back between 25 and 50 percent.” That’s a huge amount, especially if farming is your only source of income. Throughout the next several decades, we’re going to see farmers having the biggest impact from climate change (Science News).
The effects of climate change on the Mekong River are obvious. As you can see in this image, the soil health is not where it’s supposed to be. Because of rising temperatures, as we’ve talked about time and time again, the intensity of rainfall has changed.
Floods and droughts are destroying homes, crops, and fisheries. The communities that are most vulnerable to water and food shortages are the ones that will suffer the most (Science News).
This is one photograph of the effects of heavy rain in the Bay of Bengal. Climate change can affect the intensity and frequency of precipitation. Warmer oceans increase the amount of water that evaporates into the air. When more moisture-laden air moves over land or converges into a storm system, it can produce more intense precipitation—for example, heavier rain and snow storms.
They go on to say, “the water level of the Hirakud dam on the Mahanadi stood at 626.27 feet, against its storage capacity of 630 feet. Ten districts in Odisha recorded rainfall above 200 mm whereas nine districts got rainfall between 100 and 200 mm in the past 24 hours.” This is unlike anything ever seen in this region. Additionally, the highest-ever rainfall was recorded in these regions, clearly depicting the effects of climate change (Down To Earth).
Flooding doesn’t only affect land and crops, but it affects manmade things, too. This bridge succumbed to rising water levels and broke in half because it was not built to support the weight of the water. This means this is the first time this has happened. Edition CNN says, “scientists have been warning for years that the climate crisis would amplify extreme weather, making it deadlier and more frequent — and the latest catastrophes are seen as a timely reminder the threat could hit much closer to home than some might think.”
We think we’re decades away from a global warming catastrophe, but the truth of the matter is we’re much closer than we think. CNN goes on to report, “much of China’s central Henan province devastated by record rains, there was little reference to the broader climate crisis among Chinese officials, scientists or state media.” Parts of China received a dangerous level of rain every hour, which resulted in flooding (Edition CNN).
Here is another photo depicting how humans destroy everything on earth. As we’ve seen previously, these fragments of ice should not be individually apart. They should be together. A reporter from Edition CNN says, “I had never seen it (algae) before March blooming in the glaciers. And now it’s showing up in January and December. That’s like three months early. And there are places where I had never, ever seen the ground. There had always been some snow cover. And now it’s just mud and rocks.”
Also, the Antarctic has declined by more than 75% during the past half-century. Animals, like penguins, rely on food sources, which they are now being starved of. Furthermore, “phytoplankton blooms on the underside of the sea ice, and that is what the krill feed on. And then the penguins feed on the krill, the whales feed on the krill, and seals and sea lions feed on the krill. So it has this incredible chain effect. If you lose the sea ice, you lose this phytoplankton. You lose the phytoplankton and then you start losing the krill, and it starts to chain up.” And that chain ends with us (Edition CNN).
When we think of polar bears, we think of fluffy white animals prancing around an icy fairytale land. We don’t think of them playing on top of a pile of garbage. This is one of the most heartbreaking images on this list. It proves just how much humans destroy the planet.
Now, we’re not only affecting our lives, but we’re endangering the lives of innocent animals who have nothing to do with climate change. We’re the ones damaging the ecosystem, not them. These polar bears will be forced to leave their habitat and seek shelter somewhere safer and cleaner than where they currently are (People).
In 2017, in Anshun, Guizhou province in China, a month of severe rainfall left 83 people dead or missing. We can’t even imagine having a month of constant rainfall, but because of climate change and humans destroying everything they touch, this is happening around the world.
And it’s becoming more common than not. Many places around the world are seeing freak weather changes that are far from normal. If we don’t do something to change it now, the effects will snowball until there’s nothing we can do to reverse the damage (People).