The Earth has endured natural fluctuations in its warming and cooling cycles, which has affected weather conditions worldwide. Currently, the planet has experienced an increase in its temperatures, resulting in high sea levels, stronger hurricanes, droughts, wildfires, heat waves, flooding, and milder winters. Climate change has affected individuals and groups from every region of the world. Unfortunately, certain groups of people have become more vulnerable to these drastic changes, such as the elderly, disabled, low-income populations, and tribal settlements. Climate change has increased environmental stresses that threaten key natural resources, affecting water and food security. As a result, many organizations project increased military conflicts, mass migrations, and severe health impacts for the global community.
While climate change affects the entire global community, certain regions will feel the effects more than others. The impacts of global climate change will likely differ in the intensity and rate of change across several continents, countries, and regions. Some nations will likely resort to drastic measures in order to lessen the adverse effects caused by changing weather patterns. Some nations may actually benefit from climate change, depending on the magnitude and rate of change. The overall effects of the planet's cooling and warming cycles will largely depend on the capacity for humans to adapt to the coming environmental changes.
Humans have adapted to climate changes in the past. Throughout human history, societies have demonstrated their capacity to adapt in different climates and environments. For instance, Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia emerged when people migrated from desiccating wastelands to riverbanks. In addition, the growing frigid temperatures forced the Huns and German hordes to cross the Volga and Rhine, which led to the ransacking of Rome by the Visigoths. During the 1930s, an estimated 300,000 farmers left the “Dust Bowel” region of the United States to California. Many times in human history did entire populations had to migrate into new areas to cultivate and rebuild different types of shelter. However, the current climate change has evolved more rapidly than the changes previous societies experienced in the past. In an era where one region depends on the other for economic survival, negative effects can occur that can have repercussions on all regions throughout the world.
Entire ecosystems will have to face the adaptation challenges of the current climate change. Some species will have to migrate to livable areas or change their behavior to survive the coming environmental changes. Other species may not have the capacity to adapt, which will result in their extinction. Global governments, non-profit organizations, associations, and other awareness groups can devise development strategies to help ecosystems adapt to the changes.
A failure to respond to drastic climate change can lead to a rapid decline in food production. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and flooding may lead to a decrease in crop and livestock yields. Areas affected by drought may have trouble providing water to support crop and livestock productivity. In addition, increasing ocean temperatures have affected marine life. This has affected many fisheries around the world. Flood risks continue to rise in snow-packed areas where glaciers have already begun to melt. These areas will experience more flooding due to river runoffs. Lastly, sea levels will rise leading to storm surges and decreased water quality in coastal areas.
Climate change may affect the projected migration of people in different areas. Forced migration may occur due to several reasons, including escalated conflicts over ethnicity and natural resources. People may have to migrate from their local areas due to extreme events, such as hurricanes, droughts, flooding, and wildfires. Natural disasters often displace people, especially in regions that do not have the resources to respond or rebuild. Many environmentalists expect the intensity of these extreme events to increase, resulting in mass migration from impacted areas. Coastal settlements will likely become hammered as climate change continues its pace. These areas will experience continued vulnerability until they are utterly destroyed and uninhabitable.
Many have scrambled to procure solutions to help the global community thrive after the anticipated changes. The wave of our future survival lies in condensing current transportation networks to limit congestion. City officials should work with local manufacturing firms and businesses to relocate to the center of the city to decrease commuting. Communities should support locally grown agriculture to reduce transmission and transportation costs. In addition, societies should construct mixed-use neighborhoods with homes, stores, schools, offices, and medical offices contained all in one area. This would convert even the densest city into a small town. Many believe in hyper-efficient housing, or compartmentalized living spaces that use every square inch of available space. In other words, furniture would fold out of walls while windows would serve as a television set. Others propose a blueprint consisting of a tower that would house nearly forty thousand people. These skyscraper models would also have offices, recreational areas, and a rail transit hub to transport people from one end of the building to the other.