The 6 Most Bizarre Global Warming Side Effects
All right, it appears the world has moved past the "is global warming happening" stage and has now moved onto, "how screwed are we?"
But what is interesting is just how wide-ranging the effects will be, far beyond the normal "it will get really hot" and "the hippies will be really smug" we all have been expecting. Here are some of the effects you probably never saw coming...
For most of us, the best part of our day is spending time with loved ones. For the rest, it's drowning reality in a pool of sweet, brain-clouding liquors. Unfortunately, reality doesn't want to be drowned and global warming is looking to make it harder to accomplish that goal in the future, as it's predicted higher temperatures are going to lead to either outright shortages, or at least pricier, lower quality booze.
Once again, Billy Carter proves to be ahead of his time.
The problem for beer is malting barley. As climates become drier in areas where barley is grown, it could cause a disruption in beer production as crops either have to be moved to more hospitable grounds or brewers have to adapt to different varieties of barley which could lead to dreaded ass-flavored beer (as in, there's a reason those other varieties aren't used now).
For those who like to get a fancier drunk on, the wine industry also faces some changes thanks to global warming, as many wines are region specific and as the climate changes, so too do the way grapes grow and ripen. Some climatologists predict that by 2050 it will be almost impossible to grow grapes throughout large portions of Italy, Australia, California and France. Those last two would be known as "the places where most of the good wine comes from."
A desperate world will have to turn to the Red Sox for quality wine.
The effect on wine tastings and assorted douchebaggery could be devastating, forcing countless people who wear berets and eat room temperature cheese to wander aimlessly from art gallery to art gallery completely sober. Instead, they may be driven to...
More Potent heroin
If you were hoping there was an upside to global warming then you're in for a treat. Unless you don't want to develop a crippling addiction to heroin, in which case this may be another downside.
According to the USDA, who spend their days ankle-deep in opium dens, rising CO2 levels are making opium poppies more potent. Apparently back in the day grandpa was just coasting on the weak shit. Poppies grown today produce twice as many narcotic compounds as those from 1950.
The prediction is for levels to triple by 2050 and by 4.5 times more potent by 2090. This obviously has a huge impact on the world's rock stars, whose lifestyle depends on the substance. Either rock stars will face extinction by 2100, or else natural selection will give us an entirely new species of heroin-resistant musicians.
She's a hardy breed.
Curiously, the opposite effect happens in tobacco plants, that lose nicotine and other compounds with the increase of CO2, which we assume means cigarette companies are going to have to supplement smokes with heroin in the future. That makes sense, right?
The Death of Vegas
Las Vegas is a great place to ruin your life with debt or VD and people flock to do just that each and every year. Unfortunately, this utopia of despair is facing a silent threat most people beyond city planners never stopped to consider: Las Vegas is in the desert.
"You know what would really bring this place together? Casinos and whores."
When the desert gets warmer, water becomes more scarce and officially Vegas is in a sticky spot as water levels in Lake Mead continue to drop with each passing year. And legally, the city will be required to find an alternative water source if water levels drop another 17 feet as that will drop the level below the existing intake pipes.
And the sign will get all dusty and no one wants that.
The city spent $800 million to build a new pipeline deeper into the lake but if levels keep dropping that won't help; some predictions have Lake Mead disappearing by 2021. The effect spreads much further than Vegas (up to 36 million people would be affected) but Vegas is in an extra precarious position since, you know, the desert thing. If the worst case scenario plays out (and it's looking likely) not even all the tears shed in Vegas by bankrupt fathers and exploited showgirls will be able to keep lawns green.
No More Baseball Bats
The ash trees that baseball bats are made from are getting their asses kicked by global warming.
White ash has been the tree of choice for baseball bat manufacturers for decades, due to having the specific balance of weight and strength that you can't get without resorting to that aluminum bat bullshit.
Fuck you, kid
Anyway, thanks to changing climates, ash forests are now facing not just a change in temperature which can affect the quality and flexibility of the wood, making them less ideal for bats, but also the ash borer beetle, a little son-of-a-bitch bug that really likes to eat trees.
The beetles are originally for Asia, but some say changing climate has allowed them to adapt nicely to North America, where in five years they managed to destroy 25 million trees, or what scientists refer to as "a fuckton."
Named for 19th century, French botanist, Louis Fuckton
If the trend continues, it's possible ash trees could be killed off completely. This presumably means major league baseball players would be forced to smack the ball out of the air with their firsts, or perhaps use golf clubs or sledgehammers.
If you didn't get attacked by a shark today, you're lucky. Because man, are sharks gunning for you. Seriously, you shouldn't even stress about it because that shit's going to happen no matter what. Sorry.
It's gonna happen.
Shark attacks have been on the rise over the last few years, and people have tossed out a few theories as to why - from simply a great abundance of people in the water to turn into meals, to overfishing limiting their non-human food supply. But global warming is also getting a nod by changing the areas that are most comfortable for sharks to live. Areas where you and your speedo are splashing about.
Like the streets of Boston.
Areas off the coast of Florida, California and Mexico are becoming increasingly dangerous as more sharks seem to show up and that means your chance of not being eaten someday are shrinking rapidly. In fact, we're pretty sure even if you never leave Iowa there's a decent chance a shark is at least going to take your leg in the next few years.
Admittedly, the numbers aren't staggering--there was one shark related fatality in 2007, but by May of 2008 there were already four. According to this site there were 12 in 2009. So that's going up by 300 percent every year. By our math, by the year 2029 every single human on earth will have been eaten to death by a shark, some more than once.
It's gonna happen... again.
You'll Get Kidney Stones
If you've been hoping to never have to painfully blast a small, sharp object out of your wang, we have unfortunate news. The American Urological Association has done some research that indicates global warming is going to lead to an increase in kidney stones. That, in turn, leads to an increase of solid objects in your dick. That's pretty much the one place solid objects are never supposed to be.
Dehydration in warmer climates is a major cause of kidney stones, and global warming is going to make this problem worse as everything starts to warm up. Right now, 40% of the population lives in a risk zone for kidney stones, which we assume is like living in a really shitty neighborhood and being at risk of being shot, only this time it's your kidney's shooting you, and the barrel of the gun is your dong. The prediction is that this will increase to 50% by the year 2050.
Puddle of urine, circa 2050.
The AUA is guessing this will lead to an increase of one to two million cases of kidney stone disease with the cost of treatment rising to one billion dollars. Uh, guys, it's not the cost we're worried about.
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For more environmental shenanigans, check out 5 Ways People Are Trying to Save the World (That Don't Work) and The 7 Most Retarded Ways Celebrities Have Tried to go Green.
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