Climate can be described as the average weather over a long period and is usually stable, taking centuries to change. Climate change is the concept of rapid change in the climate of the Earth, having a massive impact on those living on the Earth and the health of the Earth itself. Climate change is the change of weather patterns, the change in surface temperature, the change in humidity and winds, and the change in nature that is currently occurring.
Climate change is essentially an endless process of changes to the climate causing weather conditions to be different from what it was before. This process can occur naturally over time from centuries to millenniums due to the exchange or transition of elements such as water and carbon between the atmosphere and the Earth, and from external influences on the climate system, including variations in the waves received from the sun and the effects of volcanic eruptions. Despite this natural process, humanity worsens climate change by changing the atmosphere. Examples of the consequences of climate change are, heat waves, heavy precipitation, sea-level rise, threats to wildlife, ocean acidification, drought, and wildfires.
Heat waves occur when hot air is present in a specific area for long periods. During a heat wave, high pressure causes air from higher levels of the atmosphere to be pulled towards the ground, where the air becomes compressed and releases heat. Due to climate change, more heat is available for heat waves to become more frequent, more intense, cover more area, and longer lasting. Heavy precipitation is becoming more common in many locations due to climate change. As the air becomes warmer, the air becomes capable of holding more water vapor making the air moister. For each degree of increase in temperature, the air’s capacity for water vapor is expected to increase by 6-7 percent. An atmosphere with more moisture leads to more intense precipitation, leading to heavy rain, floods, and hurricanes.
Due to climate change, glacier and ice sheets are melting from the high temperatures and with rain becoming more common, the amount of water in our oceans is increasing. The height of the ocean is estimated to have increased more than 8 inches in the last decade due to the melting of glaciers and ice sheets. This increase in water is causing coastal storms to become more damaging and coastal land to become flooded. While many marine plants are dying from the change in temperature as it destabilizes food chains and destroys nature. Climate change is making it difficult for most wild animals to live in their original habitats and are forced to migrate to cooler areas where food is still available. Some animals may have difficulty moving or adapting to their new habitats causing countless problems.
Now, as precipitation occurs, excess carbon dioxide and other gasses in the atmosphere are deposited into oceans drastically changing the water conditions, making the water more acidic. Due to this change in water, corals, microorganisms, and other marine life are rapidly dying from not being able to adapt to the new climate, disrupting the food supply for other animals. While droughts are considered to be natural disasters due to little or no precipitation in a given area leading to prolonged shortages in the water supply. While climate change is expected to increase the amount of rain precipitation, climate change reduces the precipitation of snow and ice, shifting the timing of snowmelt causing less water to be available when needed. Climate change also speeds up the process of evaporation due to higher temperatures, causing dry areas to become dryer to the point of becoming deadly.
Lastly, a wildfire is a natural fire that occurs in an area of combustible vegetation that could spread and burn for days until all the vegetation in the area is dead. Wildfires depend on several factors including temperature, humidity, and the amount of vegetation or any other potential flammable sources. All of these factors are affected by climate change as climate change increases their frequencies and the risk of them occurring.