Loss of Wildlife & Resources
Climate change has increasingly become a significant issue in today’s world and its effects are felt around the globe, dealing a devastating blow to nature and wildlife. The consequences of climate change have far-reaching consequences, leading to the loss of both wildlife and resources across the planet. The most pressing issue is to reduce the amount of carbon pollution while attempting to restore some of the damage already done.
When it comes to the harm climate change has caused to wildlife, it can often be difficult to comprehend the scope of the damage. Animals are constantly evolving, but with climate change happening at unprecedented speeds, some species simply aren’t able to keep up as their habitats rapidly change. Unfortunately, many species have had a hard time adapting and face the possibility of extinction. The most notable victim of climate change being polar bears, who are currently struggling to survive as their icy habitats have begun to melt away.
A 2018 study by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) found that climate change is decimating certain wildlife populations by as much as 50%. The IPCC’s Report on Climate Change stated that almost 10% of all species will be extinct by 2100 if the current warming trend continues. Climate change is also disrupting food supplies, migratory patterns and other vital biological needs of species. These changes can result in a myriad of problems and can often cause unbalanced ecosystems.
Climate change has also been devastating to certain natural resources, leading to shortages in some areas. One of the most notable examples of this is the rapid melting of polar ice caps and the glaciers, leading to a decrease in freshwater supplies in the northern hemisphere. This has caused significant problems for farmers who rely on it for irrigation, as well as drinking water for their communities. Similarly, the Arctic permafrost has been melting at a rapid rate due to the higher temperatures, threatening the forests and tundras that are home to various plant and animal species.
Forest fires have also become a frequent issue due to a combination of climate change and human activity. Drought and rising temperatures have resulted in more intense and destructive fires, as well as larger tracts of land being destroyed. This has resulted in a loss of important ecosystems, with woodlands and marshes being reduced to embers and ashes. The destruction of these types of areas can also have the effect of releasing further greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, exacerbating the situation further.
Coral reefs are some of the most delicate and important ecosystems in the world, providing vital sustenance and resources to many species. Unfortunately, with rising ocean temperatures, coral bleaching has become a major problem. It is estimated that any rise in ocean temperatures of 1.5°C will result in significant damage to the global coral reefs, with a 3°C rise completely wiping them out. The losses caused by this will be catastrophic, as the ocean’s biodiversity will be severely hindered without the reefs to sustain them.
Preserving Wildlife & Resources
Fortunately, there are ways to help mitigate the impacts of climate change, preserving some of the planet’s precious wildlife and resources. All nations must work together to reduce the global emissions that are causing the Earth to heat up, setting ambitious targets and ensuring that these goals are met. In addition, global policies must be implemented that focus on the protection of certain ecosystems, such as forests and coral, while also focusing on sustainability and efficiency.
It is also important that we educate ourselves and our communities on the importance of these issues, so that we can take meaningful action. With enough dedication and effort, we can ensure that the planet and its wildlife are preserved for generations to come.