Climate change is affecting our planet in many ways. In some, it’s a simple inconvenience. While long-term climate change is devestating around the world, short-term climate change is more of an annoyance. Rich people lose their beach-front homes, the summers are a few degrees hotter and an extra deadly typhoon or two make landfall each year.
While obviously very unfortunate, most of us in the developed world will survive just fine. The problem is not everyone lives in the developed world.
In Africa, some regions are already becoming drier; water sources that use to be fairly reliable are now becoming intermittent or seasonal. By 2020, it’s projected that some 75-250 million people could be fighting increased shortages of water in an already water-light continent.
What Affect Will This Have?
This water scarcity does not just lead to less water for humans, but also for plants and animals. If plants are unable to get enough water, they will not grow. This then compounds the issue for animals who will then suffer water and food shortages. Some of the most popular animals in Africa are herbavoires; they only eat plants. If there are no plants, there will be no plant-eating animals.
Furthermore, the animals that eat other animals will suffer as well. As everyone knows, the African lion, or the king of the jungle, is at the top of the African food chain. Even he will be affected by a lack of water and plant-eating animals that he eats. He too, with the rest of the entire ecosystem, will have to migrate or change along with the climate.
This migration will affect other industries: tourism (in the form of african safaris) as well as new business developments will drop off affecting the economy as a whole. These changes will be far-reaching and felt by many; even those not on the African continent.
What Can We Do?
Many things can be done to help those that will be affected by climate change in Africa. Countless charities, religious organizations, and even famous people are doing a lot to help the horrific situation the continent finds itself in. The bigger picture, however, is to help do something to slow, stop, or reverse climate change.
A few of the common-sense approaches to help stave off climate change are:
- conserve fuel (hybrids, less driving, car pooling, etc)
- turn down the heat in your home
- turn off lights when not needed
The bottom line is we all need to do our part to help reduce our carbon footprint and increase the quality of life for everyone.. not just those fortunate enough to live in one of the leading countries.