Say Goodbye to Baseball. The future of the ash tree — from which all baseball bats are made — is in danger of disappearing, thanks to a combination of killer beetles and global warming.
Say Goodbye to Christmas Trees. The Pine Bark Beetle, which feeds on and kills pine trees, used to be held in control by cold winter temperatures. Now the species is thriving and killing off entire forests in British Columbia, unchecked.
Say Goodbye to Fly Fishing. As water temperatures continue to rise, researchers say rainbow trout, “already at the southern limits” of their temperature ranges in the Appalachian mountains, could disappear there over the next century.
Say Goodbye to That Tropical Island Vacation. Indonesia’s environment minister announced this year that scientific studies estimate about 2,000 of the country’s lush tropical islands could disappear by 2030 due to rising sea levels.
Say Goodbye to Lobster Dinners. Lobsters thrive in the chilly waters of New England, but recent numbers show that as those waters have warmed up, “the big-clawed American lobster — prized for its delicate, sweet flesh — has been withering at an alarming rate from New York state to Massachusetts.”
Say Goodbye to Your Pretty Lawn. Thanks to global warming, dandelions will grow “taller, lusher, and more resilient.” By 2100, the weed will produce 32 percent more seeds and longer hairs, which allow them to spread further in the wind.
Say Hello to More Mosquitoes. Get ready for more mosquitoes. Mosquitoes like to live in drains and sewer puddles. During long dry spells (brought on by higher temperatures) these nasty, stagnant pools become a vital source of water for thirsty birds … which provide a tasty feast for the resident mosquitoes. At the same time, these dry spells “reduce the populations of dragonflies, lacewings, and frogs that eat the mosquitoes.”
Jellyfish Attack. Ouch! At least 30,000 people were stung by jellyfish along the Mediterranean coast last year; some areas boasted more than 10 jellyfish per square foot of water. Thank global warming: Jellyfish generally stay out of the way of swimmers, preferring the warmer, saltier water of the open seas. Hotter temperatures erase the natural temperature barrier between the open sea and the shore. The offshore waters also become more saline, causing the stinging blobs of hurt to move in toward the coastlines (and your unsuspecting legs).
Birds in your Backyard. A report by the National Audubon Society found that birds such as the bobwhite and field sparrow are dying thanks to global warming, as higher temperatures mess with their migration schedules. With vital food stocks peaking earlier and earlier, many migratory birds get to the party too late and can’t find enough to eat.
The Green, Green Grass of Antarctica . Grass has started to grow in Antarctica in areas formerly covered by ice sheets and glaciers. While Antarctic hair grass has grown before in isolated tufts, warmer temperatures allow it to take over larger and larger areas and, for the first time, survive through the winter.
The Swiss Foothills. Late last summer, a rock the size of two Empire State Buildings in the Swiss Alps collapsed onto the canyon floor nearly 700 feet below. The reason? Melting glaciers.
Giant Seas in Africa. Global warming may unleash giant “sand seas” in Africa — giant fields of sand dunes with no vegetation — as a shortage of rainfall and increasing winds may “reactivate” the now-stable Kalahari dune fields. That means farewell to local vegetation, animals, and any tourism in the areas.
The Oceans are Turning to Acid. It sounds like a really bad sci-fi movie, but it’s true: The oceans are turning to acid! Oceans absorb CO2 which, when mixed with seawater, turns to a weak carbonic acid. Calcium from eroded rocks creates a “natural buffer” against the acid, and most marine life is “finely tuned” to the current balance. As we produce more and more CO2, we throw the whole balance out of whack and the oceans turn to acid.
More Hurricanes. Over the past century, the number of hurricanes that strike each year has more than doubled. Scientists blame global warming and the rising temperature of the surface of the seas.
More Fires. Hotter temperatures could also mean larger and more devastating wildfires. This past summer in California , a blaze consumed more than 33,500 acres, or 52 square miles.
More Heart Attacks. Doctors warn global warming will bring more cardiovascular problems, like heart attacks. “‘The hardening of the heart’s arteries is like rust developing on a car,’ said Dr. Gordon Tomaselli, chief of cardiology at Johns Hopkins University. ‘Rust develops much more quickly at warm temperatures and so does atherosclerosis.'”
A Resurgence In Deadly Disease. “The World Health Organization has identified more than 30 new or resurgent diseases in the last three decades, the sort of explosion some experts say has not happened since the Industrial Revolution brought masses of people together in cities.” Why? Global warming “is fueling the spread of epidemics in areas unprepared for the diseases” when “mosquitoes, ticks, mice and other carriers are surviving warmer winters and expanding their range, bringing health threats with them.” Ick.
Increased Border Tensions. A report called “National Security and the Threat of Climate Change,” written by a group of retired generals and admirals, specifically linked global warming to increased border tensions. “If, as some project, sea levels rise, human migrations may occur, likely both within and across borders.”
Your Checkbook. A report done last year by the British government showed global warming could cause a Global Great Depression, costing the world up to 20 percent of its annual Global Domestic Product.
The World’s Checkbook. A study by the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University found that ignoring global warming would end up costing $20 trillion by 2100.
For 80 more ways global warming will change your life, and for references for the information above, please click here.
Also visit the Center for American Progress for more information.
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