20 3. The greenhouse effect has a wide range of impacts on the environment and the Earth’s climate. For example, it affects the ice masses (cryosphere). The consequences of global warming include the decline of polar sea ice, the melting of the continental ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, and the retreat of glaciers that can be observed worldwide. These changes in ice masses are a significant contributor to the rise in sea levels (IPCC, Fifth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2013, The Physical Science Basis, Summary for Policymakers, 2016, p. 7, 23 f.; Rahmstorf/Schellnhuber, Der Klimawandel, 9th ed. 2019, p. 57, 59, 63 f.). By 2100, the rise in global mean sea level is projected to be in the range of 26–77 cm if global warming is 1.5°C. If global warming reaches 2°C, the rise will be an additional 10 cm (IPCC, Special Report, Global Warming of 1.5°C, Summary for Policymakers, 2018, p. 11). Furthermore, there are indications that the thermohaline circulation of the North Atlantic (Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation) is losing strength as a result of the melting of the Greenland ice sheet and other fresh water inputs into the North Atlantic. A considerable weakening would have a major impact on weather systems in Europe, North America and elsewhere. The North Atlantic region would rapidly cool by several degrees, while the southern hemisphere would warm up all the more. Other expected impacts include an increase in winter storms, precipitation and flooding in northern Europe and a decrease in precipitation in southern Europe. The Sahel could expect to see a decrease in precipitation with associated droughts (IPCC, Special Report on the Ocean and the Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, Executive Summary, 2020, p. 75; Rahmstorf/Schellnhuber, Der Klimawandel, 9th ed. 2019, p. 66 f.; SRU, Demokratisch regieren in ökologischen Grenzen — Zur Legitimation von Umweltpolitik, Special Report, 2019, p. 38; IPCC, Special Report, The Ocean and the Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, 2019, p. 618, 621 f.). The climate-change-related rise in temperature also has an impact on the position and strength of the jet stream and thereby affects global wind patterns, which can in turn lead to unusually long-lasting, large-scale and extreme weather events such as heavy precipitation, flooding, hurricanes, heat waves and droughts (Rahmstorf/Schellnhuber, loc. cit., p. 68 ff., 72; SRU, loc. cit., p. 38 f.).