Since global warming has such a profound impact on Earth’s surface and oceans, it is not surprising that it affects the planet’s ecosystems.
The species depend on a reasonably consistent habitat to live. Global warming changes habitats and puts these species at risk. One of the habitats already affected by global warming is the polar regions.
Large amounts of ice are melting at both poles. This makes it difficult for species to survive in these regions.
For example, the polar bears’ habitat is altered. Where before they could swim a short distance from the ice pack to the ice pack, this is no longer the case.
Now the ice floes are so far away that many polar bears are drowning, trying to swim. According to the US Geological Survey, their numbers will halve over the next forty years.
The melting of the polar cap will be too much for most polar bears to survive. Global warming will eventually lead to its extinction if left unchecked.
Global warming is pushing 2000 reported species towards the poles. The climate becomes warmer in habitats that plants and animals are used to.
They naturally gravitate towards a colder climate, which will correspond to the previous environment of the region they left.
They were moving at a speed of 6.1 kilometers per decade. Another ice habitat that is being ruined by global warming is the penguin home in Antarctica. They have been rapidly decreasing in number over the past 25 years.
In fact, at that time, 33% of penguins are gone. The global warming that melted the ice has made their habitat inhospitable to them.
Global warming could soon make alpine meadows a thing of the past. In the Olympic Mountains in Washington, sub-alpine forests arrived and took over where the alpine meadows were.
Over the past 60 years, species in mountainous areas have climbed the mountains at a speed of 6 meters per decade.
This leaves little doubt that global warming is affecting Alpine regions. The health of sea creatures in their habitats is also being threatened by global warming. In California, marine life is moving north.
This is a behavior designed to keep animals at a temperature more similar to the one they are adapted to. They naturally do this as a means of survival.
When all the water is too hot, they will have nowhere to go. Other sea creatures are being put in danger of extinction because of global warming.
This is because the extra carbon dioxide in the air mixes with the ocean, and changes the acidity of the water.
Marine plants and animals are then in an environment for which they are not suitable. If this global warming continues, many will not be able to survive.
For example, 97% of Earth’s coral reefs may disappear if there is a 3.6 degree Fahrenheit rise in temperature.
The destruction of ecosystems by global warming has begun. Since all species are needed to support themselves, the whole world will suffer when species are lost. Only a joint effort by all human beings will help the situation.