environmental changes

With each passing day, the world continues to endure environmental changes, the consequences of which have jeopardized the very existence of life on Earth. Many research institutes and academic centers of excellence have drawn a bleak picture of the planet's future based on present environmental trends. Modern human factors have continued to exploit the world's natural resources, resulting in degradation of the very resources that support life and are factors of production (Cetron & Davies, 2005).

Changes in the following areas will result in an altered perspective on the world in 20 years. The world would much warmer than it is today if no mitigation measures are put in place to arrest the current factors that are causing an immense rise in the global temperatures. The ever-rising global warming will drive the increase in temperatures. The average temperatures on the surface of the earth will continue to go up because of the upsurge in the emission of greenhouse gases. More, tragically is the fact that the greenhouse gases are rising because of human factors like combustion of fossil fuels. Much as the efforts are being put into place to address the issue of the ever-increasing greenhouse gases, the initiative will be brought to naught if nothing is done to reduce the rate of combustion of fossil fuels (Cox et al., 2000).

Likewise, the next 20 years will see an unprecedented rise in the water levels of the seas and oceans due to the massive and extensive melting of the icecap of the Greenland. The water generated from the melting of the ice will flow as a result of gravity and drain into the major water bodies such as seas and oceans. On top of that, there will be an unprecedented increase in the levels of methane in the Tundra (Swingedouw, Braconnot & Marti, 2006).

In to the bargain, the current environmental trends paint a picture of drastic changes in the patterns of rainfall and drought across the world. The present exploitation of the available fresh water resources such as rivers is creating a situation whereby many streams are diminishing, and size as others dry up and become extinct. That would mean that there will not be enough water bodies to transmit water into the atmosphere in the form of water vapor through evaporation. High atmospheric temperatures will also lead to drying of forests and vegetation. The combined effect of reduced forest cover and a decrease in surface water resources will be a decline in the evapotranspiration. Therefore, there will not be enough water vapor in the atmosphere needed for precipitation. The result will change in the rainfall patterns.

Furthermore, the current trend and rate of cutting down trees and clearing of vegetation for urbanization and construction of settlements will lead to more atmospheric carbon dioxide. The trees act as carbon sinks. Therefore, cutting down trees would result in more carbon suspension in the atmosphere (Le Quéré et al., 2009).

The trends which will undoubtedly have predictable outcomes are, clearing of vegetation and cutting down of trees. Without trees, there will be no more carbon sinks. Hence, temperature levels will go up. Additionally, the melting of ice will also have a predictable outcome since the rise in the sea level is a measurable outcome.


Current environmental trends will have an enormous impact in the world in the next 20 years and more if nothing will be done to reverse these trends. There needs to be concerted efforts and measures that will address the growing and worrying trend of environmental degradation.


Cetron, M. J., & Davies, O. (2005). Trends now shaping the future: Economic, societal, and environmental trends. The Futurist, 39(2), 27.

Cox, P. M., Betts, R. A., Jones, C. D., Spall, S. A., & Totterdell, I. J. (2000). Acceleration of global warming due to carbon-cycle feedbacks in a coupled climate model. Nature, 408(6809), 184.

Le Quéré, C., Raupach, M. R., Canadell, J. G., Marland, G., Bopp, L., Ciais, P., ... & Friedlingstein, P. (2009). Trends in the sources and sinks of carbon dioxide. Nature geoscience, 2(12), 831.

Swingedouw, D., Braconnot, P., & Marti, O. (2006). Sensitivity of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation to the melting from northern glaciers in climate change experiments. Geophysical research letters, 33(7).

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