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Sunday, 9 November 2014

Is Global Warming all 'Doom and Gloom'?

After reading a web article about the future for global agriculture on ScienceDaily, my mind opened to the potential benefits to climate change. This article says about the possible changes to future crop land around the world.
Before reading this article, I thought that global warming would severely reduce the supply of crop land, especially just north and south of the equator, due to the increased temperatures causing more frequent and major droughts. However, the idea that the increased temperature in far northern parts of the globe, like Russia and Canada, may increase the area of suitable land for crops, such as wheat and maize, was brought to me. This got me thinking to further probable benefits for global warming outside of agriculture.
I then began to search on the internet for more advantages of global warming. I found several ideas. In particular, there was the concept that the increase in global temperature may reduce our need for energy, in the form of heat, especially in areas such as Scandanavia and Iceland, meaning that we may get closer to solving the 'energy issue', where our society faces the risk of having regular controlled power cuts to save electricity. Also, again benefiting colder countries, there may be fewer cold weather-related health problems, such as hypothermia, where in recent times, even British citizens, especially the vulnerable elderly population, have been affected by the cold weather and rising heating costs. Another, more specific advantage, is for the melting of the ice around northern Canada. This may seem bad news, but this may be very beneficial for trade between Canada and other countries, as the melting of the ice may open up sea transportation along the Northwest Passage.
Overall, from this, I can say that global warming may not necessarily be a negative thing for us as the earth, but could be a positive thing. However, my view is that the advantages and disadvantages will almost balance each other out, therefore our worry for the future generations is still understandable, yet potentially overdramatised by the media in current society.

Philip Barnes


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