Climate change refers to the long-term fluctuation in the weather patterns which ultimately determine regional, local as well as global climates. The changes have a wide range of effects which are currently evident in the United States. Moreover, the climatic changes that have been observed in the recent past can be attributed to human activities, notably fossil fuel burning (ClimateNasa, 2019). This activity increases the greenhouse gases levels in the atmosphere. This paper will, therefore, analyze the effects of climate change in the United States.
The coastal areas of the United States are more susceptible to climate change than other regions. These geographical regions are sensitive to drought, heatwaves, air pollution and coastal storms. For instance, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (2016) provides an image showing evacuees who were displaced from their coastal region by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Additionally, the Mountain West region is more likely to experience the effects of climate change as seen in prevalent wildfires as well as water shortages due to high temperatures. Also, the Arctic region experiences the effects of climate change as seen in reduced sea ice and thawing permafrost. Increasing temperature levels cause the effects in these regions.
Climate change has devastating impacts on various sectors in the United States. In this regard, agricultural production of crops like wheat, corn and cotton has declined and is expected to shift downwards in the near due to unfavorable and unpredictable weather patterns. As a result, the production sector has experienced the negative consequences of climate change through increased production costs as a result of the high prices of agricultural products which are industrial raw materials. Additionally, the tourism sector continues to be affected by climate change (The United States Environment Protection Agency, 2016). The reason is that a warming climate decreases the number of ideal days for recreational activities such as skiing and snowmobiling. Climate change, therefore, has negative impacts on the tourism, production and agricultural sectors.
Another sector that has suffered the consequences of climate change is the insurance industry. Rampant climate change has made it difficult and expensive for individuals to insure their businesses, homes as well as other assets in general. More specifically, the escalating losses caused by climate change, such as wildfires spreading to residential areas, has affected the affordability and availability of insurance in high-risk areas (The United States Environment Protection Agency, 2016). As a result, the decline in the number of insurance covers taken by Americans has affected the insurance industry’s profits and revenue.
Apart from the farming communities and coastal dwellers as discussed above, climate change also affects city dwellers, elites, older adults, children and the poor. Individuals living in poverty are more affected by climate change as they lack the financial power to relocate, evacuate and cope with the resulting heat. Older people and young children are more affected by climate change than other age groups due to their sensitive immune system and inability to cope with heat stress (The United States Environment Protection Agency, 2016). City dwellers and the elite also experience climate change in the form of intense heat waves and violent storms due to low heat absorption rates in the city. Specific communities and individuals are, therefore, more prone to the effects of climate change than others.
Climate change has had evident effects on various regions, sectors and communities in the United States. Coastal areas and mountain regions are prone to ocean storms and wildfires, respectively. Also, the agricultural, tourism and insurance sectors have experienced climate change as a result of unpredictable weather patterns, unfavorably high temperatures and increased number of natural disasters respectively. With regards to communities, the poor, the old and children, and city dwellers specifically suffer more from the effects of climate change such as heat waves due to various predisposing factors. They include financial limitations to cope accordingly, sensitive age and immune systems and low heat absorption rates, respectively.
ClimateNasa. (2019, August 28). Overview: Weather, Global Warming and Climate Change. Retrieved November 9, 2019, from https://climate.nasa.gov/resources/global-warming- vs-climate-change/.
The United States Environment Protection Agency. (2016, December 22). Climate Impacts on Society. Retrieved November 9, 2019, from https://19january2017snapshot.epa.gov/ climate-impacts/climate-impacts-society_.html.
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