By Nancy Tuana
There is increasing agreement that human activities are resulting in significant changes in the global climate. The NASA website on climate change provides a snapshot of these changes.
Global temperatures have gone up an average of 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880. The 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998, with last year, 2015, ranked as the warmest on record. These temperatures have contributed to rising sea levels due both to increasing ocean temperatures and the accelerated melting of glaciers and ice sheets. These changes are fueling altered weather patterns such as precipitation changes resulting in droughts in some regions and flooding in others, as well as increasing the intensity of extreme weather events such as hurricanes.
If greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise unchecked, the effects could result in serious disruptions to agriculture, flooding of the world’s coastal cities, changes in species migrations, and even extinction of some plants and animals. Continue reading Focus on research: Does climate change affect genders differently?