The planet is warming, and the effects are getting worse and worse by the day. Since the early 1900s, the global average surface temperature has increased by more than 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit, and this results in melting glaciers and sea ice, shifting rainfall patterns, animal migrations, and the rise of the term ‘climate refugees’ which pertains to individuals being forced to move out of their homes due to erratic weather in their areas. If the climate change effects are not mitigated, this could mean serious damage to all of the Earth’s inhabitants: its flora, fauna, and the human beings who are tasked to manage the Earth’s resources. Here are some of climate change’s effects to the environment.
Climate change and animal migration
Climate change and weather volatility may cause species to migrate to new areas. This is especially stressful for animals, especially species who are endangered. They may end up moving to inhospitable environments, and an adjustment in their ways of life could mean a major decrease in their quality of life. In some cases, this results in sickness or death. Also, because animals are naturally codependent for survival, the instability of the activities of some species will cause major ripple effects on others. Food webs and ecosystems may collapse, signaling a rapid deterioration on the Earth’s biodiversity.
What makes this worse is that human activities also threaten the Earth’s biodiversity, making the effects of climate change fall on animals more rapidly than they would have had humans been more sensitive. For example, widespread illegal logging or other forms of deforestation does not only mean a decrease in air quality for humans, it also affects animals whose habitats are in the forest or are dependent on trees for food and shelter.
Climate change’s effect on the world’s oceans
Oceans are “carbon sinks”, meaning they absorb carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The higher the carbon dioxide (made even higher because of human activity), the warmer the ocean becomes. This is bad news for marine life. Oceans become acidic as higher carbon dioxide concentrations could result into the calcification of coral reefs, and unhealthy coral reefs become inhospitable homes to fishes and other marine species. Not only does this mean there would be a major decrease in the world’s marine-sourced food supply; it also results into large-scale migrations of marine animals. Many species are moving deeper or farther north in the Atlantic to find cold water, and along the way, animals’ interconnected food webs are disrupted.
Climate change’s effect on water sources
The obvious effect of climate change on the world’s water sources are the frequent tragic occurrences of flooding and droughts. When the air is warmer, water content increases, and precipitation patterns become more extreme. This means that the agriculture industry for example will find it more difficult to predict either of the dry and wet seasons, and this leads to an unreliable supply of food products. Water sources also become difficult to manage. Some climate refugees are moving out of their homes because of extreme drought or low water supply.
Want to learn more about the effects of climate change on our environment? Ian Cohen can provide you with more information
Environmental speaker, activist, and leader Ian Cohen has been making appearances at environmental conferences and served as a climate change speaker. His in-depth knowledge about climate change, collected from years and years of activism and even a period of serving in government, has developed in his audiences a renewed sense of commitment to the green movement in Australia.
Many people share Ian’s dedication in spreading awareness about climate change. His personal stories of environmental activism are truly inspiring, which is why your organisation will greatly benefit from a discussion from Ian Cohen. Have him over at your next environmental conference! Just leave a message on the Ian Cohen website to set an appointment or to leave your enquiries.