What Effects Does Global Warming Have on Our Ecosystem?

Global Warming Is Affecting Our Ecosystem

Ecosystems are being impacted by climate change in a number of ways. Warming, for example, may force species to migrate to higher latitudes or elevations, where temperatures are more suited to their survival.

As sea levels rise, saltwater intrusion into freshwater systems may compel certain key species to relocate or die, removing predators and prey from the existing food chain. Climate change affects ecosystems and species in an indirect manner, and it interacts with other human pressures such as development.

Transition of ecosystems

According to a NASA and university computer modelling research published in 2011, global climate change will disrupt plant communities covering almost half of the Earth's land area by 2100, causing nearly 40% of land-based ecosystems to shift from one main ecological community type to another.

rising levels of human-produced greenhouse gases

Researchers from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, looked at how Earth's plant life will adapt over the next three centuries as the planet's temperature changes as a result of rising levels of human-produced greenhouse gases.

The study's findings were visualised using model projections. Many plant and animal species face greater competition for survival and significant species turnover, according to model estimates, as some species take habitats previously held by other species.

Plant cover is expected to shift by at least 30% on most of the Earth's area that isn't covered by ice or desert, requiring humans and animals to adapt and frequently relocate. 

Also Read: Are Human Burial Practices Messing Up Earth’s Ecosystems?

On much of the Earth's surface that isn't covered by ice or desert, plant cover is predicted to fluctuate by at least 30%, forcing humans and animals to adapt and relocate often.

Climate change, the study said, will disrupt the biological balance between interdependent and frequently endangered plant and animal species, reduce biodiversity, and negatively affect Earth's water, energy, carbon, and other element cycles, in addition to changing plant communities.

Plant species must frequently "migrate" in reaction to climatic change across numerous generations since they can only survive, compete, and reproduce within the range of conditions to which they have evolved and physiologically adapted.

Plants and animals have evolved to respond to seasonal environmental changes and even larger transitions, such as the end of the last ice age, but they are typically unprepared to keep up with the rate at which modern climate change is unfolding.

Human activities such as agriculture and urbanisation are rapidly degrading Earth's natural ecosystems, preventing plants and animals from successfully migrating. Bug outbreaks have increased as a result of a combination of higher plant drought stress, improved insect overwinter survival, and shortened insect growth and reproduction cycles brought on by climate change.

Over the last decade, these factors have resulted in the most extensive insect outbreaks in western woods in the preceding 125 years. More widespread and destructive wildfires have emerged from the warmer and drier meteorological conditions.

When it comes to climate change, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Nonetheless, nearly all of these solutions are already in existence, and many of them rely on humans adjusting their ways of producing and using energy. 

Also Read: Global Ocean Destruction Can we stop ourselves from destroying our own life support systems?

CO2 levels

To encourage reduced waste and better resource management, changes in technology, behaviour, and policies are required. Improved energy efficiency and vehicle fuel economy, as well as increasing wind and solar power, organic waste biofuels, carbon pricing, and forest protection, are all efficient techniques for reducing the amount of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases on the globe.

Scientists are also looking at ways to make hydrogen, which is now mostly derived from natural gas, in a more sustainable way to power zero-emission fuel cells for mobility and electricity.

Developing better batteries to store renewable energy, constructing a more intelligent electric system, and extracting carbon dioxide from power plants and other sources with the goal of storing it underground are among the other endeavours.

Others argue that nuclear power should be part of the solution despite concerns about safety, water use, and hazardous waste because nuclear reactors do not emit any direct air pollution.

Global Greenhouse gas emission

While reducing new greenhouse gas emissions is critical, scientists have emphasised the need of removing existing carbon dioxide from the environment.

More outlandish concepts for cooling the Earth, such as spraying sunlight-reflecting particles into the air or blocking the sun with a large space mirror, have mostly been dismissed, as they may pose more environmental dangers than benefits.

Many of the instruments necessary to prevent climate change are currently available. Some of the recommendations are large and will require governments and corporations to carry them out, but many others are simple and can be implemented by anybody, such as eating less meat or rethinking your forms of transportation.

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