Effects Of Global Warming

Some scientists have issued warnings that the current climate zones may disappear. There will always be zones, as long as there is an atmosphere covering the Earth. However, the changes wrought by global warming are creating new, previously unknown climate zones with some warmer, others drier, others colder, and others still changing. Climate models that are global in scope are forecasting that several existing climate zones in a number of places around the world may completely disappear. The threatened zones include tropical highlands, regions near the poles, vast areas of the tropics, and the subtropics.

Among the areas most severely affected are the southeastern United States, southeastern Asia, parts of Africa, the Amazonian rain forest, and the African and South American mountain ranges. The shifting zones will develop new ecological systems, with the loss of many species from the area. In general, the climate zone models show changes will shift some zones to higher latitudes and to higher elevations. Species of flora and fauna that now flourish in current conditions at high altitudes will either adapt to the advances of lower elevations, or perish because they have no place higher to go. Shifting wind and rain patterns with warmer temperatures will affect ecological

The hardiness zone information on potted plants is based on 60 years of weather data and is related to climate zones.

systems. Because most species cannot migrate, there will probably be enormous losses in biodiversity.

SEE ALSO: Botany; Climate; Climate Models; Geography; Weather.

BIBLIOGRAphY. Martin Beniston, Remote Sensing and Climate Modeling: Synergies and Limitations (Springer-Verlag, 2004); W.J.S. Burroughs, Climate Revealed (Cambridge University Press, 1999); A.B. Graf, Hortica: Color Cyclopedia of Garden Flora in All Climates—Worldwide—and Exotic Plants Indoors (Roehrs Company, 1992); Michael Morecroft, Plant Growth and Climate Change (John Wiley & Sons, 2006); J.M. Moreno and H.A. Mooney, Anticipated Effects of a Changing Global Environment in Mediterranean-Type Ecosystems (Springer-Verlag, 1995); A.N. Strahler and A.H. Strahler, Elements of Physical Geography (John Wiley & Sons, 1984); Gerold Wefer, Climate Development and History of the North Atlantic Realm (SpringerVerlag, 2002); M.M. Yoshino, ed., Climates and Societies: A Climatological Perspective: A Contribution on Global Change and Related Problems (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1997).

Andrew J. Waskey Dalton State College

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