About The Planet
Climate change will just melt the polar ice caps. How is that going to affect tropical countries?
Climate change does not just melt ice. Because climate is a very complex system, it can have implications for how we live, what we choose to plant, what industries we can continue to have and what industries we need to do away with, and what policies our government will enact.
First, climate change might mean that we will have more frequent, more severe storms. Because the planet is warming up, water will evaporate faster, and we will have more frequent, heavier rains. The tropics experience a fair share of storms every year. These storms destroy crops and infrastructure, affecting food supplies, livelihood, and the economy. Climate change can worsen these problems by affecting the food supply, stripping economies of money, and dictating what policies will be formulated when it comes to budgets, agriculture, and industry.
Second, because climate change can increase the number of storms, it can also increase the incidence of diseases associated with the storm season in tropical countries. Such diseases might include dengue and malaria, which are already killing people in record numbers worldwide.
Third, because climate change will also translate to more hot than cool days, the tropics will also experience warmer, longer summers and shorter cool seasons. This can affect growing seasons, which will affect agriculture, which, in turn, will affect the food supply. This can also affect human productivity in the workplace, which will affect the economy. This will increase electricity consumption as people look for ways to cool themselves down.
These are only a few ways that climate change can affect tropical countries. Melting the ice caps is just one problem among many that the entire world has to deal with.
Won't people who live on mountains be high enough and “saved” from climate change?
No. Being up on the mountains might mean that the air is cooler, maybe even cleaner. However, the earth, overall, will be warmer. This can mean that high elevation industries, such as ski resorts, can fail. People who live at higher elevations might also experience food shortages if their food crops fail. Climate change is something that will truly affect us all.