12 Strange And Unexpected Side Effects Of Climate Change

Will penguins take more selfies in warmer weather? Natalia Khalaman/Shutterstock

Robin Andrews 22 Apr 2017, 17:57

4 – More volcanoes will erupt

Plenty of volcanoes, particularly in places like Iceland, are covered over by huge snowfields and glaciers. If you warm the region, the ice will melt, which will have two distinct effects. Firstly, some of this meltwater will mix with near-surface magma or even just hot rock, and cause sudden, violent explosions – the type that kill more people on volcanoes than any other.

Secondly, if enough of the ice melts, it will reduce the pressure on the underlying magma. This will allow bubbles to more easily form inside the magma, which increases the internal pressure of the magma chamber. This, unfortunately, makes it more likely that the volcano will erupt sooner rather than later.

5 – You might see a grolar or a pizzly

No, this isn’t a Pokémon or some mythical beast – it’s a grizzly-polar bear hybrid. As it turns out, the offspring of these two closely related floof balls are becoming increasingly common as the Arctic Sea Ice of the polar bears becomes increasingly scarce.

With their normal hunting ground effectively gone, polar bears are moving closer inland, where they appear to be having babies with the woodland roaming beasties. If, however, the father is a polar bear, the kids are known as “pizzly” bears.

6 – The economy’s going to tank

A study back in 2016 revealed that more powerful natural disasters, the increasing cost of fossil fuels, and the heat stress it will cause workers will cost the US $2 trillion in damages by 2030.

A new analysis points out that the world will take a $19 trillion hit by 2050 if the Paris agreement isn’t stuck too, partly for the same reasons and partly because it will miss out on using cheap, effective renewable energy to reduce unemployment numbers.

In short, if you want to save the world and get rich at the same time, ditch coal and grab yourself a solar panel.

7 – You’ll get crop circles on ice

No, Crop Circles on Ice isn’t a new talent show or Broadway production (sadly) – we’re referring to the strange zig-zag formations that are appearing in frozen lakes and sea ice complexes around the world.

They’re actually formed by a natural process known as finger rafting, where thin, smooth ice canopies drift over and under each other at the same time. A warmer world means thinner ice, which means these patterns will become increasingly common.

Ultimately, more people will think that aliens have moved on from confusing farmers to confusing Icelanders and penguins – and it’s all our fault.

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