Glaciers arent the only structures that could disappear as a result of climate change
. Social, economic, and political structures could melt away as natural resources dwindle. As scientists rigorously examine the long-term implications of climate change, they are finding that it threatens to make the world and its citizens far less secure.
"Climate change is not an isolated issue," says Michael Totten, senior director of climate and water initiatives at Conservation Internationals (CI) Center for Environmental Leadership in Business. "Its interwoven with other major global problems we face."
Climate change threatens to derail the health of Earth's plants and animals by damaging the natural world they rely on to survive. Because a healthy Earth provides people with benefits like freshwater, clean air, fertile soil, and plentiful food, its clear that what jeopardizes our environment also jeopardizes our livelihoods.
A breakdown of the planets natural resources could consequently threaten the security of our economies, our health, and our families. Shifts could result in conflicts over scarce resources, loss of revenue in industries like tourism, and even massive migrations of refugees resulting from natural disasters.
Climate change could therefore counteract all of the strides conservationists have made up until this point to protect Earth's living heritage and ensure that societies live in harmony with nature.
"Put simply, Were concerned about what climate change means for our mission," says Lee Hannah, research fellow in CIs Center for Applied Biodiversity Science.
While climate problems threaten all aspects of our daily lives, climate change solutions have enormous potential to make our lives better.