How Dose Global Warming Effect Animals

Climate change has already sounded the death knell and has started causing extinction of vulnerable species across the globe. The golden toad (Bufo periglenes) and the harlequin frog (Atelopus varius) of Costa Rica have already become extinct due to the harsh impacts of global warming. Scientists explain that species may not be able to adapt to the rapid changes in their habitat and food supplies caused by global warming and its associated disturbances such as floods, droughts, wildfires, and pest outbreaks. Scientists predict that global warming could cause mass extinction of animals because global warming and the resulting change in climatic conditions harm the delicate ecosystems in which these animals live. Polar Bears, Sea Turtles, the North Atlantic Right Whale, Giant Panda, Orangutan, African Elephants, Australia’s Frog Species, Siberian Cranes, Galápagos Penguins, Indian Tigers, are few of the species that are known to be highly endangered due to the impacts of global warming.

Global warming affects species in several ways: Geographic range: During the past several decades, many species have already shifted their home ranges to higher latitudes (i.e. they have started moving toward the poles) and higher elevations. For example, in the Alps, it has been observed that some plant species have been migrating upwards by one to four meters every decade. Similarly, butterflies, dragonflies, moths, beetles, and other insects are now living at higher latitudes and altitudes, where previously it was too cold to survive. Sadly, some plants that were previously found to occupy the mountain tops have already disappeared due to the impacts of global warming and climate change. Reproduction and migration timings: During the recent years, spring has been arriving earlier than usual. This has been influencing the timing of bird and fish migration, egg laying, and spawning, which have been noticed to occur earlier in many species. This has a devastating effect on animals because the availability of insects and other types of suitable food for the young animals gets severely affected by the changes in arrival and length of different seasons. Global warming and changes in climate may also bring about a rapid and drastic shift in the feeding points and disruptions in flight patterns of migratory birds.

Frequency and intensity of pest outbreaks: Global warming also increases the frequency and intensity of pest outbreaks which can destroy important keystone species that serve as the only source of food for a particular species. As a result of destruction of the keystone species, the species dependent on it are placed under the threat of extinction.