The global average temperature is certain to rise during the 21st century. Even if we were able to stop adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, the heat stored in the oceans would continue to be released over several decades. Exactly how this will affect the world is less certain, but there will probably be increasingly frequent and extreme heatwaves, droughts, and floods. More glaciers and polar ice will melt, and fragile natural environments will suffer, causing the extinction of many animals and plants. Some of these impacts are inevitable, but if we try to combat climate change we may be able to limit the damage.
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