What's the worst that could happen if we fail to address climate change?

2023 © Wikiask
Main topic: Science
Other topics: Climate change
Short answer:
  • Heat waves, storms, drought, melting glaciers, rising sea levels, and warmer seas may all directly injure animals, ruin the habitats where they dwell, and cause chaos in people's livelihoods and communities.
  • Heat waves are becoming more often and strong as global warming continues.

The negative consequences of climate change are becoming more severe, and as a result, we are seeing a rise in both the frequency and intensity of destructive weather events.[1]

20210823 Survey of top climate-related concerns in Europe - European Investment Bank

If nothing is done to address climate change, it might lead to the spread of diseases[edit]

The rainfall patterns are shifting due to rising temperatures, while the length of summers continues to expand. Because of this combination, mosquitoes now have a longer season to spawn over a broader region, which contributes to the development and transmission of illnesses such as West Nile Virus and Dengue Fever[2]. The public will be put in far more danger as a result of this. The risk of flooding is another element that plays a role in the proliferation of illness in densely populated regions. Flooding may prohibit cities from effectively treating sewage, which in turn triggers a domino effect that further worsens the situation.[3]

A slight temperature rise may adversely impact our planet[edit]

As a direct consequence of increasing temperatures, extreme weather events including storms, heat waves, floods, and droughts are worsening. So that dry parts grow drier and moist ones become wetter. A warmer temperature develops an atmosphere that can absorb, hold, and release more water.[4]

Climate change will lead to decreased food and water supply[edit]

Crops Battle Climate Change, Source: agronomy.org

The local groundwater sources are losing more water due to increased evaporation, and glaciers are melting at a faster rate. This would increase the chance of severe drought in desert areas that depend on glacier melt and snowfall for crop irrigation. The outcome will be detrimental to agricultural output. Because of the drought conditions, agricultural production will decrease, leading to an increase in the price of food around the world. People living at or below the poverty threshold will continue to bear a disproportionate share of the negative effects of food shortages, which will, in turn, drive additional poverty and conflict.[5]

Climate change can lead to more devastating storms in the future[edit]

Strong Extratropical Cyclone Over the US Midwest (5124467559)

Climate change has made certain types of extreme weather much more frequent and intense. Climate change will lead to increasing the intensity of tornadoes in areas like the Midwestern U.S. In some regions, superstorms can cause devastating loss of life. Super Typhoon Haiyan, recognized as the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall in world history, resulted in as many as 10,000 deaths.[6][7]

Climate change can cause induced costal displacement and floods, and their manifestations[edit]

Gases contributing to global warming would have tremendous consequences for the more than one billion people who live in low-lying coastal regions, notably in Asia, where two hundred million people could be needed to relocate from their homes. It is anticipated that thirteen million people would be impacted in Europe, while in the United States, whole states may be partitioned by water. It is possible for damaging erosion, the flooding of wetland areas, the pollution of aquifers and agricultural soils, and the loss of habitat for fish, birds, and plants to occur when saltwater advances farther inland. In addition, increased sea levels bring about larger and more violent storm waves, which have the potential to destroy everything in their path, resulting in further effects.[8][9][10]

Climate change is threat to the stability of both local and national economies[edit]

Climate change obviously harms people, but it also has significant negative economic effects on both the public and private sectors. The dangers of climate change are starting to be taken seriously by the business world, but a new analysis by accounting behemoth PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) reveals that nations remain well short of what is required to sustain economic stability as climate risk rises.[11] The "mother of all dangers" for companies, according to Dr. Celine Herweijero of PwC, is climate change, which poses a threat to global supply networks in particular. [12]


  1. "Effects of Climate Change | Threats | WWF". World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved 2022-11-01.
  2. "West Nile virus". www.who.int. Retrieved 2022-11-01.
  3. "Mosquito-borne Diseases on the Uptick—Thanks to Global Warming". Scientific American. Retrieved 2022-11-01.
  4. May 23; Denchak, 2022 Melissa. "Are the Effects of Global Warming Really that Bad?". NRDC. Retrieved 2022-11-01.
  5. "Climate Impacts on Agriculture and Food Supply | Climate Change Impacts | US EPA". climatechange.chicago.gov. Retrieved 2022-11-01.
  6. Hodal, Kate (2013-11-10). "Typhoon Haiyan: at least 10,000 reported dead in Philippine province". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 2022-11-01.
  7. "Tornadoes and Climate Change | National Geographic Society". education.nationalgeographic.org. Retrieved 2022-11-01.
  8. "Living in coastal areas « World Ocean Review". worldoceanreview.com. Retrieved 2022-11-01.
  9. Neumann, Barbara; Vafeidis, Athanasios T.; Zimmermann, Juliane; Nicholls, Robert J. (2015-03-11). "Future Coastal Population Growth and Exposure to Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Flooding - A Global Assessment". PLoS ONE. 10 (3): e0118571. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0118571. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 4367969. PMID 25760037. line feed character in |title= at position 68 (help)
  10. "Flood risk already affects 1.81 billion people. Climate change and unplanned urbanization could worsen exposure". blogs.worldbank.org. Retrieved 2022-11-01.
  11. PricewaterhouseCoopers. "Climate Change Risks on Business with 3 Real-Life Examples". PwC. Retrieved 2022-11-01.
  12. King, Ed (2013-09-26). "IPCC report shows climate change is mother of all risks - PwC". Climate Home News. Retrieved 2022-11-01.