Climate Change and Wildlife

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By Sydney York

Climate change is already having adverse effects on animal life, and those effects are likely to prove devastating in the future. Changes in conditions among regions or average long-term changes over the entire earth has had detrimental effects on non-human organisms, as well as society or humans in general. 

“More frequent and intense drought, storms, heat waves, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and warming oceans can directly harm animals, destroy the places they live, and wreak havoc on people’s livelihoods and communities,” according to WWF. The most impacted species and regions containing various species are African Elephants, dolphins and porpoises, the Amazon, the arctic, the coral triangle, coastal East Africa, Eastern Himalayas, the giant panda, monarch butterflies, polar bears, sea turtles, tigers, and whales. This is only a small list of the top species that are facing the detrimental effects of climate change. 

There are a series of ways climate change can directly affect wildlife. Whether it’s a loss of habitat (like glaciers melting), the sea level rising, our sea water acidifying, an overtake of diseases and parasites, a loss of wetlands, or our temperatures rising, there are many different ways our animals can be affected till they are driven to extinction. 

As humans we take a lot of part in the impacts climate change has to wildlife. Greenhouse gases are created by burning fossil fuels, which build up in our atmosphere. This thickens the build up, and traps the heat in. “Fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas are high in carbon and, when burned, produce major amounts of carbon dioxide,” according to The National Wildlife Federation. 

In the end, climate change proves a real threat and continues posing as a problem within our world. Although climate change can’t be completely controlled, we can take our part by emitting less carbon dioxide from cars, or factories for example. Many wild species will be gone soon enough, so as humans we should do the most that we can to change these outcomes.