Would a modest increase in the temperature of the planet necessarily be bad?
2 Jan 07
According to the World Bank, one-third of the world's population already suffers from chronic water shortages. The Worldwatch Institute predicts that this situation will be exacerbated further by the addition of an estimated 2.6 billion people to the world's population over the next 30 years. By 2025, the group claims, some three billion people -- or 40% of the world's population -- could be living in countries without sufficient water supplies, leading to crop failures, diminished economic development and even to regional conflicts as nations find it necessary to fight for control over scarce water resources. While the scientific community is divided over many aspects of the global warming theory, the effect of global warming on precipitation levels is not one of them: Global warming would mean more condensation and more evaporation, producing more and/or heavier rains. Global warming, therefore, could offer the answer to the water scarcity problem that the Worldwatch Institute has been seeking. If history is any indication, greater precipitation may be only one of many benefits of global warming. For example, between the 10th and 12th Centuries, when the temperature of the planet was roughly 0.5 degrees Celsius warmer than it is today, agriculture in North America and Europe flourished and the southern regions of Greenland were free of ice, allowing cultivation by Norse settlers. Evidence of this was found in 1993 when scientists from the National Science Foundation-sponsored Greenland Ice Sheet Project II extracted an ice core from Greenland's ice sheet that spanned more than 100,000 years of climate history. Samplings from the core suggest that a Little Ice Age began between 1400 and 1420, blanketing the Vikings' farms in ice and forcing them to abandon their farms in search of more hospitable climates. Prior to the onset of this Little Ice Age, temperatures were comparable to the temperatures general circulation models used by the U.N.-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have projected for 2030-2050. Yet, the world's leaders stand poised to take dramatic steps to curb the risks of this kind of climate change. Global warming could also mean greater agricultural productivity and greater water conservation. CO2 acts as a fertilizer on plant life while reducing plant transpiration (the passage of water from the roots through the plant's vascular system to the atmosphere). Thus, with global warming, agricultural output could be expected to increase while making less demands on the water supply
2 people like this
12 Feb 07
I think that any kind of permanent weather change in the global temperature could have a very devastating effect. For example, a couple of days ago I've seen on TV that the global temperature will gain 2 degrees and for that fact alone, The southern part of our country (Romania) will be changed into desert land by time :(
12 Feb 07
There has already been an increase in the temperatures in recent years and in fact the seasons are changing as well. For example 30 years ago here in Australia, the cold weather would arrive in June but now it is more likely to be July or even into August. We noticed the change happening in the years when we had our farm because the calving pattern had to fit in with the growth of the feed, and over the years the new feed was coming later. I do not see any benefits at all really and at the same time I think that not enough people are doing anything to help the situation with global warming. Certainly most of the changes have to come from the Government, but people individually can make a difference if they really want to. I think it is a case of "not my problem", so many people do nothing at all about it.
• United States
9 Feb 07
There is a sea creature that perishes if the temperature goes up a small amount. The world is a balance and so many things are linked I am not sure why we are not taking this more seriously. Would seem that warmer is nice, not necessarily so. Somethine would suffer and then the chain reaction to a sad conclusion.