HTML Document Biodiversity and Climate Change

Climate Change, caused by the accumulation of Green House Gases on the Earth, has already started producing some effects on "biodiversity", which has been proved to be life´s main support. This page therefore seeks to urge all readers to stop activities leading to climate change, as a way of curbing climate change.
Release date 27/02/2013
Contributor Eric Okoree

Biodiversity and Climate Change

The accumulation of water vapor; carbon dioxide, ozone and methane (green house gases) in the atmosphere is causing the earth to warm up. This is due to the blanket effect they produce due to it sustained accumulation over the years. This rise in temperature is changing the average weather conditions on the earth’s surface and the surrounding atmosphere observed over the years. This is what is termed “Climate Change” and it effects on t he biodiversity is enormous.

The rich variety of life on Earth has always had to deal with a changing climate. The need to adapt to new patterns of temperature and rainfall has been a major influence on evolutionary changes that produced the plant and animal species we see today. Variation in the climate is perfectly compatible with the survival of ecosystems and their functions, on which we each depend for the essentials of life. Yet, according to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) published last year, climate change now poses one of the principal threats to the biological diversity of the planet, and is projected to become an increasingly important driver of change in the coming decades.

There are several reasons why plants and animals are less able to adapt to the current phase of global warming. One is the very rapid pace of change: it is anticipated that over the next century, the rise in average global temperatures will be faster than anything experienced by the planet for at least 10,000 years. Many species will simply be unable to adapt quickly enough to the new conditions, or to move to regions more suited to their survival. Equally important, the massive changes humans have made to the landscape,
river basins and oceans of the world have closed off survival options previously available to species under pressure from a changing climate. There are other human-induced factors as well. Pollution from nutrients such as nitrogen, the introduction of alien invasive species and the over-harvesting of wild animals through hunting or fishing can all reduce the resilience of ecosystems, and thus the likelihood that they will adapt naturally to climate change.

This has major implications not just for the variety of life on our planet, but also for the livelihoods of people around the world. As the MA showed, the rural poor are especially vulnerable to the loss of essential services when an ecosystem becomes degraded. The formation of soils suitable for crop-growing, the availability of medicinal plants, the provision of fresh water and the income gained from eco-tourism, for example, are all underpinned by the web of life and the interaction of species ranging from the smallest micro-organisms to the largest predators.

The loss of these services has a devastating impact for the poor, who have no other options at their disposal.