What Impact Has Global Warming Had on Wildlife?

Senior (College 4th year) ・Geography ・MLA ・13 Sources

The world is currently experiencing an extinction crisis due to the highest rates of biodiversity loss in the history of wildlife, and this crisis is expected to worsen as climate change accelerates. At the national, regional, and local levels, the impacts of climate change on biodiversity can be seen. Global warming has affected a variety of wildlife species. The rate of global warming is expected to increase, making it one of the main drivers of wildlife extinction in the twenty-first century. It is estimated that 20-30% of the world's wildlife will be extinct by 2050 due to global warming. Global warming is a significant concern that will have negative consequences. Global warming is one of the most severe challenges that the wildlife and the world at larger are facing. To some extent many people in the community may not realize that global warming also a poses a significant problem to our animals as severely as to the human beings. It is the highest time for the Americans and other people through the different organization to stand up and protect the animals because global warming interferes with the habitats of animals, for example, the decreases in the food supplies of the animals and even reducing the lifespan of the animals. The paper discusses in details how the global warming has affected our wildlife in the era of the twenty-first century (Arnold 1-32) .

Global warming poses enormous impacts on the Arctic and boreal, the increase in the global warming decrease the level of sea ice which is very essential to some animals whereby it threats some species in specific the polar bear and other ice-dependent animals. In the process of global warming, the ice-dependent animals lose both the quantity and quality of the physical sea habitats. In some event, they can also lose the accessibility to prey. A good example is that of the polar bears which depend on the ice to be able to hunt. Other effects include interference with their reproduction system, the inability to travel for long distance and the protection from other predators.  However, with the increase in the global warming leads to a rise in the surface temperature, which reduces the formation of the ice making it difficult for the species to get food. Other global impacts are on the marine and coastal animals. It is anticipated that global warming will affect everything from the smallest plankton species to the complex algae in the process of nourishment of the tropical corals, as well as cause extensive changes within the marine environment (Schneider and Root 57).

Global warming also has affected the wildlife animals through the ocean acidification. There has been a dramatic drop in the pH of the oceans as a result of carbon gases that are realized in the atmosphere through the human factor activities. The acidification in most of the case makes some of the ocean animals like the coral and crustaceans unable to produce their skeletons and the shells. The bleaching of the ocean because of acidification destroy the coral reefs which have been home to the wildlife in the past thousand years (Hutchings, Lunney and Wales. 25-52).

Global warming cause's shortage of food to the wildlife, with the changes in the habitat, it is true that some of plants and animals may die off due to insufficient food. Wildlife depends on one another for food, in a relationship that exists between the predators and the herbivores among other different ways of dependence. For example, in the year 2012 was one of the hottest years that was recorded in the United States. There is a projection that the heat will continue to increase with time in the world. In areas where there are severe droughts, the habitats are interfered with as forests lack enough water. In the same line, the increase in the number of incidents of wildfire activities as a result of hot and dry conditions bring a significant challenge to the wildlife animals. Wildfire as a result of global warming destroys vital wildlife habitats like the usual routine of nesting. Intense and persistent storms as an outcome of global warming affect the concentration and distribution of the links on the marine food web leading to severe effects on the ocean species (Shea 14-40).

Although global warming has affected all the animals in general, it is essential to understand that there were some of the animals that are affected more than the other as a result of the climatic changes. Based on the publication by the Defenders of the Wildlife some of the animal's species have got the severe effect of the global warming which comprises of the foxes, toads, polar bears, caribou, and salmon among other different animals. These are some of the wildlife that has been pushed to the corner by the result of global warming, and their extinction can be seen coming very soon. As the wildlife species face the outcome of global warming human being also get the effects. A study that was conducted by the World Wildlife Fund Research revealed that in the northern exodus from American to the way to Canada some the warblers led to the outbreak of the mountain pine beetles that interfered with the economically productive balsam fir tree

Another fundamental impact of the result of global warming on wildlife is the habitat disruptions, through which the ecosystem that the wildlife animals have spent millions of years are undergoing quick changes in the aim of responding to the climate changes, minimum their capabilities to fulfil the species needs. The habitats interference is mostly caused by the ever-changing temperature at some point there are too low or too high, the water scarcity, and sometimes the combination of both factors. In some case, the animals have managed to move to new places to continue with their healthy life. With the ever-increasing human population which means that fertile area occupied by animals are taken over for human settlement as well as the industrial developments. With the increased in the globalization of roads and urban development, it hinders creatures from moving to other safe places after experiencing changes in the climate. Many scientists who study the habitat displacement agree that global warming is generating a rapid shift in the timing of the different natural event in the lives of the wildlife animals a pattern which is known as phenology. To worsen the situation the current study that was undertaken is in contradiction with the long known hypothesis that various species co-exist in a particular ecosystem response to global warming as one entity. This is a wrong assumption as it has been witnessed different animals species that live in the same habitat are responding in various ways to the climate change interfering with the ecological communities millennia in the making. For example the plants are blossoming earlier than required, some of the animals having to end their hibernation activities early than expects, and birds laying eggs early in every year. These adverse effect of globalization is not limited only to the animals, but plants also are at the risk of destruction. A better illustration of the event is whereby the mangrove are withering off in some parts of the world that are as a result of climate changes. Also, the distribution of animals has been affecting by the global warming. There many species of animals that are moving closer to the poles of the earth in response to the increased rise in temperature. On the same note, birds are migrating and moving to their nest areas earlier than usual with the distance covered while walking to the nest much reduced compared to what it used to be during those time when there was no global warming. It is also important to note that in some countries the birds have stop migration which was a routine in every year due to the climate. The rise in the sea level of above diversity sentiments have caused the sea creatures such as the turtle to lose their nesting beaches. Most of the Caribbean beaches are used by the turtles as the ground when the period of nesting arrives, and global warming has dramatically affected their routines. In additional the Mediterranean monk sea are creatures that require the beaches to raise their pups and the increased rise in the sea level of the sea water is slowly interfering with the swallow coastal fields that are used every year by the dolphins and the whales forcing them look for swallow ends of water so that they are in position to rear their small calves.

The global warming on the wildlife can be seen in different countries whereby the migratory journeys of different specials of animals have been stopped. The ever-changing climate in the rainfall display is leading to the construction water storage facilities such as the dams in some part, without taking into the consideration the migratory mammals and fish patterns that every year move up the rivers for them to be able to breed and spawn. Also, the birds that depend on the wetlands locations for their migration are at a significant risk for the rising sea levels caused by the human activities. Apart from the human events leading to the increased droughts in many nations, there is a reduced rate of food production, and the worse situation is the diminished level of drinking water. Despite the fact that they have been no species that have become extinct because of the climate changes much of the non-migratory and migratory species are being predicted to die off in the coming future.

Also, it should be noted that global changes do not only affect human being regarding disease it also causes disease in wildlife. Some of the diseases such as the chytrid fungus are caused by the warmer temperature which has left many of the amphibian population extinct or dwindling. Also not forgetting the seasonal pest that occurs every year in the United States such as the beetles, which their reproduction increase well in the warmer conditions and thirsty. To add on as a result of global warming, it causes the Arctic to open up allowing the drilling of oil, which will facilitate the coming of ships into the areas that were unreachable of the Pacific walruses. The increased activities of agriculture and the need for water will make the human being to infringe on the native Pacific wetlands, which will lead to the destruction of animals and plant habitats that are located in those places. With the increase of drought some animals such as the koalas will be forced out of their safety eucalyptus trees in the quest for water increasing their risk of death due to road accidents. There are different effects as a result of global warming activities that are either caused directly or indirectly by the human beings. For the next generation to be able to enjoy and experience the wildlife animals and plant its call for a quick measure to be able to reduce the effects.

Some of the actions that can be undertaken to save the wildlife fraternity are outlined below. Boosting the energy efficiency, as it has been seen that energy used in the industries, business, homes, and other places is the single contributor to the higher global warming. Different methods that can also be used in the elimination of global warming, in summary, it's through the removal of burning of coal, oil, and natural gas. Encouraging the green transportation will also act as good solution as the 21st century has witnessed increased emission of gases. Revving up the renewable energy source can be a significant step in the saving of our wildlife animals as these sources do not realize any tonic materials in the atmospheres. Lastly, the proper management of agriculture and forests can help fight the problem of global warming by reducing the emission of gases into the atmosphere.

In summary, global warming affects the wildlife in different ways as discussed above. Just to mention some of the effects of global warming is the risk of lack of food to different species in the going future. With time there is the possibility that some of the wildlife may face the extinction of the situation remains the way it is at the moment.

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Work cited

Arnold, Caroline. A warmer world. Watertown, Mass: Charlesbridge, 2013.

Hutchings, Patricia, et al. Wildlife & climate change : towards robust conservation strategies for Australian fauna. Mosman, N.S.W: Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, 2012.

Schneider, Stephen Henry and Terry Root. Wildlife responses to climate change : North American case studies. Washington, D.C: sland Press, 2002.

Shea, Nicole. Animals and climate change. New York, NY: Gareth Stevens Publishing, 2012.

Dellamore, C. “Nation Geographic”, 7 Species Hit Hard by Climate Change—Including One That's Already Extinct 2014 https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/03/140331-global-warming-climate-change-ipcc-animals-science-environment/

“US department of the interior” , 9 animals that are feeling the impacts of climate change, Accessed, 07, December, 2017.

“USGS”, Climate Change and Wildlife Health: Direct and Indirect Effects, Accessed 07 December, 2017. https://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/publications/fact_sheets/pdfs/Climate_Change_and_Wildlife_Health.pdf

 “Defenders of wildlife”, Reducing the Impact of Global Warming on Wildlife: The Science, Management and Policy Challenges Ahead, Accessed, 7, December, 2017. https://defenders.org/publications/reducing_the_impact_of_global_warming_on_wildlife.pdf

“Animal action education”, climate change and animals, Accessed 7, December, 2017.

Beaudry, F. “ThoughtCo”, How Is Wildlife Affected by Global Warming? 2017.

Than, K. “Livescience”, How Global Warming is Changing the Wild Kingdom, 2005 https://www.livescience.com/3864-global-warming-changing-wild-kingdom.html

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