Climate Change Poses Threats to Plants and Animals


Climate change is an extreme threat to wildlife as discussed in “ Climate Change Poses Threats to Plants and Animals'' by Renee Cho. He gives several examples of how climate change is increasing earth's temperatures. He continues describing how the increase causes more weather changes such as hurricanes, tornados, and rain. Cho also wrote several examples of how it's been warming up the earth to a point where it's a threat to our global ecosystems. He explains how detrimental weather changes can be by giving examples that express situations affecting the plants and animals. When talking about climate change, Cho says how possums, roe deer, and stream fish are struggling to survive. Not to mention how it's affecting species of plants in the arctic with less snowfall on the ground than the current average. Climate change is rapidly increasing, resulting in negative effects that are harming plants, animals, and the environment. 

Firstly, climate change affects the environment by altering weather and temperature patterns. The U.S.. environmental protection agency provides an example of climate change in a statement which said the average temperature has risen 0.14% every decade since 1950 (1). This is concerning because it gives specific evidence concluding that weather change is real and not just a hoax. In addition, records taken since 2001 to 2010 have shown that those were the warmest years since measurements began being taken (1). Another issue due to warmer weather is less snowpack on the mountains causing a greater chance for winter and spring flooding to occur. These are all examples of direct effects because climate change is rapidly increasing.

The effects don't stop there, animals are impacted heavily by climate change. One animal being driven to extinction by starvation is the mountain pygmy possum (1). Warmer temperatures are causing them to appear from hibernation sooner than their food source. In Virginia, the amount of bear sightings has grown exponentially as their hibernation routines change. Since bears are awake longer with less habitat, they are pushed into towns in pursuit of food. Another example of climate change in another country is England's Roe deer(1). The deer there are giving birth after their food source is available due to warmer temps. Increase in the temperature causes the flowers to bloom early equating in fewer available selection later on. For aquatic species increased streamflow and water temperatures is damaging habitat and straining wildlife. Thus interrupting life cycles like trout that use streams to reproduce equating to a decrease in their population. 

Lastly, climate change takes a massive toll on the majority of the world's plant species. In 2020, the entire great plains region experienced a sizable drought resulting in many farmers losing their crops which devastated the country (2).  In the arctic, a decrease in snowfall is causing vegetation to die off. Which in return can also cause algae blooms and dead zones where nothing new can grow because the ground is frozen (1). Nutrient flow offs from increased rain cause plant roots to die after the exposed ground freezes solid. Effects from switching precipitation patterns could have harmful differentiating amounts of rainfall. Thus leading to issues such as a lack in insect prevalence and issues with water retention. Since climate change is heating up the planet, its landscape which the vegetation grows upon will change indefinitely causing whole ecosystems to dissipate.

In conclusion, it's obvious if we do nothing to help preserve our planet's plants & animals they are either going to have to adapt or die to the changing weather conditions. Twenty to thirty percent of assessed plants and animals could be at risk of extinction if average global temperatures reach the projected levels by 2100. Animals will continue to have trouble finding food sources, reproducing, and continuing their life cycles. As for plants, if nothing changes they will continue to vanish altering landscapes forever. Therefore, making them uninhabitable for life to exist causing a chain reaction. Luckily this is still in our control. If everyone did their part in reversing climate change it would drastically improve the state at which our planet is in. Not littering, reducing our carbon footprint, and recycling are ways to make it possible and save our lovely diverse planet. 

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