“There is nothing more sensitive to the impacts of climate change than the natural world”
– TOM LOVEJOY
The world is already losing its hold over nature and bio diversity. Climate change has been added in the recent few decades to our worries. Many people as well as governments are unaware about the link between climatic change and wildlife. Climate changes disturbing the ecosystem is even more serious than someone can expect. This results in the extinction of various wildlife species. Reducing the diversification of species will turn down the ecological balance on the whole. For a fact, we know that, forests cover around one-third of the global land surface. When the average global temperature rises slowly, it will mainly impact the wildlife. Now, consider the factors such as local topography, change in wind and rainfall patterns and oceanic currents.
How wildlife is pushed towards extinction?
Climate change is already causing many species to shift to new places. As temperatures have increased, animals have been moving further north, to higher places. For example, 177 of 305 species of birds traced in North America have extended their range north in the past four decades. Not only wildlife but the whole forest community sometimes might start moving upwards. They shift their locations to suitable zones for many tree species. Sadly, some species has nowhere to go. For example, species found near the pole are already living at the edge of their climate tolerance. This leaves them unsafe to the increasing temperature. Also, species dependent on mountain tops will be at risk, due to little chances to move forward in elevation.
Extreme climatic conditions are going to have some of the biggest impacts on wildlife in the coming decades. This is simply because floods, droughts, frosts, and winter might exceed normal tolerance this time while coming. Most wildlife even if escapes a wildfire, should move to longer distances to find habitats that can support them. That’s how they will even have a chance to survive. The forest fire might’ve already burnt the soil and trees, which might take decades sometimes to recover wholly. Droughts joined with increasing temperature reduces water supply. It also places the aquatic species at great risk with no escape unlike land animals.
Higher absorption of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes acidification of ocean waters. With more and more CO2 added to the atmosphere at same rate as now, will make the ocean more acidic scaring the lives of corals and shells.
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Instant measures to reduce the threat of climate change:
With the climatic conditions changing fast, we should start worrying about how to conserve the wildlife. We humans when faced with bad climatic condition will protect ourselves from the difficulties. But, in the case of wildlife species, they will be doing what they do in normal conditions. They can change their location to live at the least which might not be enough. A day will come where no place will suit a species pushing it slowly towards the line of extinction on a large scale. With many scientists already working on it, we need to address what more can be done. Global policies to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases are of serious importance. It is a long-term solution. For an immediate short term solution, nature conservationists should urgently develop any new plans. Finding rare and endangered species and conserve them should be done soon. Plans for increasing forest cover will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It also provides new areas for wildlife species.