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There are countless effects of climate change, all just as important and just as devastating. However, Kids Fight Climate Change has highlighted the most prevalent ones that will affect everyone on the planet. Each of these effects can be grouped into at least one of the following categories: General, Extreme Weather, Freshwater, Human Health, Agriculture, and Cities and Infrastructure.
Degrading Water Quality
Deluge and Changing Precipitation
Climate change can make it rain more in some parts of the world and less in others parts of the world. It will worse the extremes of precipitation. In wet regions, there will be more deluge, meaning a severe flood. This causes more flooding, which displaces thousands of people and costs communities and nations billions of dollars. Dry regions will become even drier. This can lead to more drought, wildfires, and water scarcity. This is already happening: we've seen a 90% increase in precipitation in much of the U.S., but in dry California, precipitation has decreased!
Droughts and Heatwaves
Climate change will increase the intensity and frequency of droughts and heatwaves. Heatwaves are short (usually week-long) periods of intensely hot weather, while droughts are long-term periods. Both droughts and heatwaves will increase since there is simply more hot weather, which allows for more of them. They both affect human health, water supply, and agriculture by causing heat-related disease and drying out water resources and soil. We're already seeing this, with 120+ºF measures multiple times in the past decade.
Hurricanes and Tropical Storms
Climate change will increase the intensity and frequency of tropical storms and hurricanes. Hurricanes form with warm air and warm water. Because climate change will increase global temperature, it creates a breeding ground for more hurricanes. Hurricanes do extensive damage: they can destroy entire towns and cities, displace thousands, and cost billions of dollars in damages. Floods can also have negative effects on human health and agricultural production, and they unfairly affect low-income communities because they don't have the money for repairs.
Impacts on Goods and Services
Increase in Heat-Related Injury
Increased Allergy Season
Limited Water Availability and Quantity
Rising Sea Levels
Climate change causes sea levels to rise for two reasons: glaciers melting into the ocean, and the expansion of seawater as it warms. Already, since humans started to burn fossil fuels, sea level has risen eight inches! By 2100, global sea level Is projected to rise another one to eight feet! This is important because a lot of the world lives on the coast in areas that could be completely underwater soon.
Perhaps the most well-known effect of climate change is temperature. Climate change causes global warming, where the average temperature of the earth rises. This happens because more gases in the atmosphere trap heat in the planet, which makes it too hot. This is known as the greenhouse effect. This global warming causes all of the effects on this page. That's because just a couple of degrees higher temperature throws off the earth's balance.
Wildfires will burn across greater areas, be more frequent, and be more deadly as climate change warms the planet. This is because warmer temperatures lead to drier forests, which make it easier for wildfires to start and spread. These wildfires destroy communities and animals' habitats, displacing thousands while costing billions, similar to hurricanes. Also similar to hurricanes,