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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 Effects of Global Warming Melting Ice Not only is summer sea ice shrinking rapidly in the Arctic, but so is the average thickness of sea ice. Where in the past Arctic sea ice grew to 10 feet thick over multiple years, now much of the ice has only one year of growth, making it much more victimized to melting in the summer. Scientists project that the Arctic Ocean may be ice-free in summer in just a few decades. Disrupting Migration Patterns Birds are not the only creatures to migrate or to feel the effects of climate change, of course. In eastern Australia, fruit bats have died by the thousands in heat waves. In North America, the monarch butterfly, a champion traveler, covering distances of 2,000 miles and more. Duskywing butterflies adapted to the cooler climates of the British Columbia coast are having difficulty accommodating themselves to a regime in which the climate of Vancouver increasingly resembles that of the central coast of California. Storms Scientific research indicates that climate change will cause hurricanes and tropical storms to become more intense lasting longer, unleashing stronger winds, and causing more damage to coastal ecosystems and communities. Vegetation In the tundra, thawing permafrost will allow shrubs and trees to take root. In the Great Plains of the United States, grasslands will become forests. And New Englands fall will eventually fade and maple and beech forests shift north toward cooler temperatures. Surface Temperature During the 20th century the Earths average temperature rose one degree to its highest level in the past four centuries. It is believed to be the fastest rise in a thousand years. Scientists project that if emissions of heat-trapping carbon emissions arent reduced, average surface temperatures could increase by 3 to 10 degrees by the end of this century.
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