Predicting the exact effects of an increase in global temperature is very difficult, as there are many possible physical, social, economic, biological and ecological consequences.
It is expected that greater warming will occur at the poles than at the equator. This will effect atmospheric circulation patterns, which are dependent on the temperature differences between these two areas.
- Regional rain fall patterns are likely to be drastically altered, which will change the patterns of world food production.
- Parts of the world will see an increase in the number of heatwaves, others will see an increased intensity of tropical storms
- Sea levels will rise due to -
- Melting of ice (glaciers and polar ice)
- The thermal expansion of water
- Sea levels are likely to rise by over 1m by 2100 and much more in following centuries, causing
- Salinisation of soils (increased saltiness)
- Coastal erosion
Try out this simulator provided by the UK Met Office, which shows the predicted consequences of a 4oC global temperature rise.
View this simulator full screen
Effects on People