Risks of Climate Change
Climate change is expected to hit developing countries the hardest. Its effects—higher temperatures, changes in precipitation patterns, rising sea levels, and more frequent weather-related disasters—pose risks for agriculture, food, and water supplies. At stake are recent gains in the fight against poverty, hunger and disease, and the lives and livelihoods of billions of people in developing countries. Addressing climate change requires unprecedented global cooperation across borders. Historical societal adaptations to climate fluctuations may provide insights on potential responses of modern societies to future climate change that has a bearing on water resources, food production and management of natural systems. The average air temperature will increase as the earth becomes hotter. This will cause shifts in normal weather and rainfall patterns. For example, some areas may become drier, while others may become wetter. The average temperature of the sea surface will increase, which may cause coral bleaching and changes in fish distribution. Sea level will rise in many locations due to a combination of the melting of land ice in Antarctica and other areas and the expansion of ocean waters as they warm. As the level of the sea rises, this may impact the coastline and increase the intensity of storm surges. Weather patterns including storms, drought, rainy seasons, and dry seasons will change in different ways in different places and may result in more extreme events.