The global change in climate has had enormous observable effects on the environment. Research shows that human influence is the main cause of climate change dating back to the mid-20th century (Wuebbles et. al. 3). Humans have been involved in climate change through the burning of fossils fuels and industrial activities which lead to the emission of greenhouse gases. Such activities have led to observable effects like sea ice shrinking, ocean acidification and a rise in temperatures among others (Wuebbles et al. 3-5). In the United States, climate change has led to reduced agricultural yields and lack of energy for industrial production, tourism limitation, destruction of geographical regions and increased heat stress for city dwellers and the poor.
The United States currently experiences a reduced supply of water for agricultural activities and energy production. In Northwest, for instance, where a great amount of water is stored in mountains’ winter snowpacks, warmer springs motivate earlier melting (EPA 2-4). Due to this, the region experiences unreliability in water supply for agricultural activities leading to reduced yields. Early melting of the snowpacks leads to increased stream-flows during early spring and late spring (EPA 4-5). As a result, water amount in streams and rivers is reduced during periods when rainfall is little, and this leads to poor production in industries due to lack of enough energy. The water supply for irrigation also reduces greatly leading to reduced agricultural yields. Therefore, climate change affects the industry and agriculture sectors in the US by reducing the water supply needed for energy production and irrigation.
Ideally, the US tourism sector has become limited, and the revenue from it reduced. For example, the temperature increase due to climate change has led to the reduction of snow cover and also the shortening of the winter snow periods altering and limiting snow sports (EPA 6). The sports such as skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, and fishing are significant tourist attractions. The ice and snow activities generate about $7.6 billion for the Northeast economy in the US, but this has been reducing annually (EPA 7). The reduction is blamed on the increased temperatures. The tourism sector in the US has thus become limited, and the revenue from it reduced due to climate changes.
In addition, the change in climate has led to the destruction of physical features in the different geographical regions of the United States. In the Northwest region, the snowpack on the Cascade Mountains has been discovered to have reduced by close to 20% from the 1950s (EPA 9). The reduction is as a result of increased temperatures witnessed in the United States and all over the world. In Alaska, the lakes are shrinking in the area they cover especially in the southern part due to increased evaporation and permafrost that makes lakes drain fast (EPA 4). If the changes in climate witnessed today like increased temperatures, then such physical features may be significantly destroyed. The climate thus has destroyed physical features such as lakes in Alaska and snowpacks in the Northwest geographical regions.
Moreover, the change in climate has lowered the economy and destroyed the infrastructure in the different geographical regions of the US. Increased permafrost thaw that disrupts thaw-freeze cycles increasing subsidence and frost heaves has been identified to destroy infrastructure (EPA 1). The expenditure on infrastructure maintenance has been raised in Alaska due to the increased incidence of destruction. In the US Islands, the leisure, economic activities, and infrastructure are vulnerable to impacts of climate change such as coastal inundation, flooding, and the rise of sea level (EPA 1). Most of the infrastructure is concentrated on the coastal regions of the Islands making them easy to be destroyed. When the climatic impacts occur, leisure and economic activities are altered which in turn lowers the economy.
The heat wave due to climate change threatens the poor and city dwellers. It is reported that 65% of the people dwelling in the city are exposed to greater warming compared to other people (Singer 2). For this reason, such people are stressed by the heating with air conditioning facilities making matters worse. For instance, the decreasing stream flows in the Northwest reduce the supply of hydroelectric power making it difficult to meet the increasing air conditioning demand (EPA 1). Therefore, the city dwellers end up being exposed to too much warming. The poor, on the other hand, may not afford air conditioning and just like the city dwellers, they are under intense heat stress. Humans cannot handle certain levels of heat especially when there are no cooling facilities (Singer 4). The poor especially may end up developing heat-related health conditions.
In short, the change in climate has had great observable effects on the environment globally. In the United States, the climate change has contributed to the reduction of energy production for industries, decreased agricultural yields and the revenue collected on tourist activities due to its limitation of the sports in the sector. Ideally, has led to the destruction of physical features like snowpacks, promoted decline of the economy and damage of infrastructure in the US’s geographical regions. Moreover, it exposes the city dwellers and the poor to heat stress. Therefore, everyone needs to prevent and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and to conserve the environment to mitigate climate change.