Impact Of Climate Change On Wildlife Term Paper

Length: 4 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Weather Type: Term Paper Paper: #47698508 Related Topics: Climate, Global Climate Change, Deforestation, Endangered Species
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Climate Change: Impact on Wildlife

Climate change can be defined as a change in climatic patterns resulting from increases in the levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. These gases form some kind of blanket that not only gets thicker, but also makes the planet warmer with increasing gas levels. This temperature increase alters the planet's climate, giving rise to unpredictable and extreme weather. As a result of climate change and more frequent heat waves, more and more places are experiencing periods of record drought that are immediately followed by acute rainfalls, and which greatly affect the natural balance between people, plants, wildlife, and fish. Moreover, the planet's oceans and seas "are also absorbing some of this extra carbon dioxide, making them more acidic and less hospitable for sea life" (WWF). In summary, climate change not only threatens the natural systems, but also puts the quality of life at risk, and ought to be addressed fast using appropriate management strategies for climate adaptation.

Climate change affects almost all aspects of life, including humans. This text concerns itself with the effect of climate change on wildlife. Before embarking on the main discussion, it would be prudent to outline the causes of climate change as well as the changes it has brought about.

Causes of Climate Change

Deforestation: forests maintain some kind of balance in the atmosphere via the absorption of substantial carbon dioxide amounts. Deforestation reduces the levels of carbon dioxide absorbed by forests, leaving huge amounts of it to circulate in the atmosphere (WWF).

Fossil Fuels: when fossil fuels including, but not limited to, coal, oil, and natural gas are burnt, they generate power, but, at the same time, emit huge...

...

This kind of energy generation is thought to release approximately 23 billion tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere every year, with coal being ranked as the most damaging of the three (WWF).

Observed Changes

The specific changes that have resulted from rapid warming include coastal erosion and flooding, ocean acidification, falling sea ice levels, rising sea levels, water shortages, catastrophic wildfires, and shifts in storm and rainfall patterns (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service).

The Impact of the Observed Changes on Wildlife

Habitat Transformation: rising sea levels result in the loss of coastal habitats. Due to rising air and water temperatures, such features as wetlands and sea ice which offer habitat features to species such as polar bears are modified, forcing the species to either adopt or migrate to more hospitable environments (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service). Moreover, species such as pikas, coral, and salmon, which are rather lethal to temperature changes, could soon become extinct (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service).

Changes in Timing: significant shifts have been noted in the breeding and flowering patterns exhibited by wildlife. The Tree Swallow bird species of North America has, for instance, been observed to "begin egg-laying over a week earlier than in the past" (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service). This could be disastrous, resulting in massive species loss, especially if young ones "hatch before insect food is plentiful" (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service).

Increasing Temperatures: increases in the average temperatures of water and air have affected both terrestrial and marine species (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service). Coral, whose thermal tolerance is so narrow that even the smallest increase in temperature could sufficiently drive them over their limits have been most affected. In 2005 (the warmest year in history), 20% of the coral in the Caribbean died from bleaching caused by rapid warming (Cummings and Siegel, 150).

Range Shifting: species would naturally be found in places that offer climatic conditions favorable to their adaptations. Climate change has resulted in significant alterations in climatic conditions, causing "the geographic ranges of many species" to move towards cooler regions (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service). Some butterfly species in the U.S. are reported to "have shifted northward and contracted upward in elevation over the last century" (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service).

The Spread of Diseases and Pests: rapid warming has facilitated the emergence of new pest species, parasite, and pathogens, and hence led to the emergence, and subsequently, the rapid spread of new wildlife diseases (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service). Rising temperatures in North America have caused the "black-legged tick which carries and transmits Lyme disease,…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Cummings, Brendan, and Siegel Kassie. "Biodiversity, Global Warming, and the United States Endangered Species Act: the Role of Domestic Wildlife Law in Addressing Greenhouse Gas Emissions." Eds . Burns William and Osofsky, Hari. Adjudicating Climate Change: State, National and International Approaches. New York: Cambridge University, 2009. 145-72. Print.

Hofmeister, Eric, Rogall Gail, Wesenberg Kathy, Abbott Rachel, Work Thierry, Schuler Kristen, Sleeman Jonathan, and Winton James. "Climate Change and Wildlife Health: Direct and Indirect Effects." USGS, n.d. Web. 12 April 2014 http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/publications/fact_sheets/pdfs/Climate_Change_and_Wildlife_Health.pdf

US Fish and Wildlife Service. "Climate Change Impacts." U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2014. Web. 12 April 2014 http://www.wildlifeadaptationstrategy.gov/climate-change.php

WWF. "Climate Change: Threats." World Wildlife Fund, 2014. Web. 12 April 2014 https://worldwildlife.org/threats/climate-change


Cite this Document:

"Impact Of Climate Change On Wildlife" (2014, April 12) Retrieved May 11, 2021, from
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/impact-of-climate-change-on-wildlife-187405

"Impact Of Climate Change On Wildlife" 12 April 2014. Web.11 May. 2021. <
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/impact-of-climate-change-on-wildlife-187405>

"Impact Of Climate Change On Wildlife", 12 April 2014, Accessed.11 May. 2021,
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/impact-of-climate-change-on-wildlife-187405

Related Documents
Climate Change a Review of Recent Developments
Words: 1119 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Weather Paper #: 40587210

Climate Change A review of recent developments in climate change science. Initial Reaction. This is an eye-opener of an article. The facts presented in the journal Progress in Physical Geography show powerful evidence that the climate is changing faster than earlier believed. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) empirical reports are fascinating to me, and understanding this global threat is important for all citizens. For those who believe conservative talk radio (global

Climate Change Everything Changes in
Words: 2223 Length: 8 Pages Topic: Weather Paper #: 36385390

Other effects observed worldwide include modifications in the distribution of plants and animals throughout and outside natural habitats, the fact that the trees start to bloom earlier than initially considered normal, the length of the seasons continue to increase, probably leading to a situation in which only two seasons with replace the traditional four. Foremost, ice has been found on rivers and the lakes freeze later in the winter and

Climate Change -- the U.S. Federal Government
Words: 795 Length: 2 Pages Topic: Weather Paper #: 83686195

Climate Change -- the U.S. Federal Government What federal agencies and cabinet departments are most responsible for responding to global climate change? This paper points to a number of government departments that President Barack Obama has enlisted to take steps to deal with the impact of climate change. Agencies Involved in U.S. Response to Climate Change The agency that has the most influence in the federal response to climate change is the Environmental

Climate Change Effects of Climate Change Economic
Words: 1234 Length: 4 Pages Topic: Weather Paper #: 13920663

Climate Change Effects of Climate Change Economic effects of global climate change In this paper, we will discuss the economic effects of global climate change on rich as well as poor countries. Our emphasis will be on the point that the rich countries might have a difficult time but they can manage with the situation whereas the poorer countries will be impacted the hardest. Firstly let's review some of the facts regarding the

The Impact of Climate Change on Canada
Words: 1647 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Environmental Science Paper #: 27920932

Introduction The environmental peril to the earth in the present day is greater and more severe compared to any other given time in human history. Canada is one of the nations that have been significantly impacted by climate change. Imperatively, average temperatures in the nation have already risen by 1.7 degrees Celsius in the past seven decades. Unrelenting intensification of warming at high latitudes is anticipated under all circumstances of impending

Climate Change and the Dwindling Survival of Marine Mammals
Words: 1614 Length: 4 Pages Topic: Anthropology Paper #: 15790833

Climate Change on Marine Mammals Sustained scientific observations reveal and alert everyone that climate change has asserted alarming effects on the oceans (Simmonds & Isaac 2007). Scientists agree that these effects are likely to be in the form of alterations in prey distribution and volume. They also agree that the more mobile species of marine mammals may possess enough resilience to adapt to the changes. But the extent of their