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How Climate Change is Impacting Wildlife Species

How Climate Change is Impacting Wildlife Species

Our planet is facing extreme weather events and changes in climate due to unsustainable human activities that have been taking place for decades. According to a 2018 UN report, it is the need of the hour to limit the global rise to not more than 1.5 degrees Celsius but it has been estimated that if the current trend continues, global temperature will rise by 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. The primary reason for the rise in average global temperature and changes in the weather patterns over long periods of time is the escalating emissions of greenhouse gases caused by anthropogenic activities.

The changing climate is resulting in extreme drought, floods, and other catastrophic disasters in different regions of the earth, severely affecting every aspect of human lives. The impact of climate change is not limited to only human life but is felt by every living organism that is present on this planet. The reason is that everything on earth is closely intertwined. And as a result, a minor change has the capability to cause unimaginable repercussions.

Climate change is threatening wildlife, endangering several species, and pushing them on the verge of extinction. A report published in the ‘Climate Change’ journal says that up to half of the animal and plant species surviving in the naturally rich zones of the earth like Amazons and Galapagos could become extinct by the end of the century because of the adverse effects of climate change.

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Loss of Habitat

The most significant impact of climate change is the destruction of the habitats where wildlife species used to live and thrive for millions of years. For instance, the rise in sea levels destroys the habitat of coastal wildlife by inundating beaches and marshes. In this way, the repercussions of climate change are such that the ecosystems are transformed, making them unsuitable for the sustenance of wildlife species.

The fragmentation of habitat because of the development of human settlements makes it impossible for these affected wildlife species to migrate to other regions for their survival. It is the consequence of habitat loss that we witness animals encroaching upon regions inhabited by human beings.

Hampered Migration

Migration is another occurrence that is vital for the survival of many wildlife species. But the unsuitable conditions in the regions of migration due to climate change have disrupted this phenomenon in numerous species making them vulnerable to endangerment.

Lack of ability to adapt

Another horrifying impact of climate change on wildlife is the loss of genetic variations due to their rapid evolution. This makes them unable to adapt. It has been estimated that because of this, polar bears will become extinct by the end of this century because the temperature in the Arctic is on a rise.

It has been found that there is a shift in natural events like the timings of reproductive and migratory processes. They have changed to keep up with the changes in climatic conditions.

As we discussed in the beginning, every process on our planet is linked. Therefore, a change in one aspect has the ability to completely alter the natural processes and the extinction of one species causes havoc on the entire food chain, negatively affecting other species as well.

The way ahead

The long-term goal should be to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. It is imperative to take action, adopt strategies and implement them properly to put a check on greenhouse gases emissions and prevent the average global temperature from rising beyond 2 degrees celsius.

Adopting mechanisms to conserve the existing ecosystems and restoring the damaged ones is of utmost importance to help them survive. Conserving the habitats is a stepping stone towards conserving wildlife from the effects of climate change. It is necessary that we make sure that their habitats are thriving and they provide them with everything required for their survival.

Another measure that is being implemented in many parts of the world is creating corridors to connect natural areas that are segregated by human development. These corridors help in the migration of wildlife species.

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Author-Ramesh Chaurasia

A superior and highly experienced entrepreneur in the field of business for quite a long time now. Also, a philanthropist, author and public speaker who believes in working towards the overall well being and betterment of the society as a whole.

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