Global warming: A dangerous cycle destroying animal’s habitats and security

Published: 23 January 2017

Global warming is becoming an ever increasing popular term, often heard in the media, it’s a term of the 21st century. Most of us perhaps turn our attention to the icy Arctic region, when thinking of global warming, which of course is the most profound example of the damage caused by the issue. Scientists and environmental activists have long recorded the concerning development of global warming and the consequences both human and animal life face, should it continue to worsen.

Referring to the warming of Earth, which is ultimately caused by a hole in our ozone layer, the issue is real. The ozone layer itself naturally should act as a protective barrier against the intake of excessive sunlight into the Earth’s atmosphere. Sadly, human activity has seen the planet’s ozone layer be damaged. As a result, the Earth’s atmosphere has exceeded above safe levels, with the damage even being physically visible. Scientists have long warned that global warming stands as a threat to all life on the planet, with the Earth’s temperature having increased by 1.4 degrees over the last century.

What effects has Global Warming had on the environment?

Regardless of some efforts to working towards a resolution of the current global warming crisis, at large the issue is ignored and continues to worsen. Global warming has already been witnessed in the form of environmental disasters across the world. With weather becoming increasingly unpredictable, it has shown its form as destructive hurricanes, heat waves, wildfires and droughts. Not only do these extreme weather conditions cause loss of human life and insecurity, they also disturb animal species across the globe. Global warming wreaks havoc on the sustainability of a healthy environment for all and stands as a real threat to our own security and the security of animal species.

How are animals affected by global warming?

Sadly, global warming is our responsibility and many animal species suffer due to irresponsible acceptance of the severity of the issue. The classic example of global warming’s effects are often seen in the Arctic, where polar bears are currently facing likely extinction. With the Arctic sea ice melting at record speeds, the animals that depend upon it for survival are dangerously struggling. Like polar bears, other animals found in the Arctic such as seals, walruses and some sea birds also face a gloomy future. During the Summer months, sea ice almost diminishes entirely leaving polar bears starving to death and swimming for miles longer than physically possible. The classic example of the polar bear and global warming doesn’t stand alone, unnecessary animal deaths are taking place worldwide, right now.

As mentioned, sea temperatures are rising as a direct result of a warming atmosphere. Rising sea temperatures act as reproduction barriers for many fish species including the common salmon and trout. Many fish species require a specific temperature to survive and reproduce healthily and when over-fishing is added, a serious issue is on our hands. Droughts have seen a considerable effect on migratory bird species such as ducks and geese, with wetland environment becoming increasingly inaccessible during the breeding season. In addition, droughts see plants unable to flourish, leaving scarce food sources for many species. Food availability has become a major animal concern associated with global warming, in fact without a secure environment to feed and breed, the future is looking bleak for millions of species.

What can be done?

Luckily, there are a number of groups already fighting to protect animals from the effects of global warming. The road ahead is long and rather complex, with our government officials leading the way, but we have seen some progress over the past years. More countries are becoming mindful of their emission levels and many countries have set personal air pollution limits to adhere to. In addition, other global warming issues are being monitored such as livestock farming and industrialisation. Transport systems are constantly evolving to be more environmentally friendly, with new sustainable ways of travelling becoming available to the general public.

As an individual, you may feel rather insignificant in regards to the wider spectrum of tackling the issue, but there are mindful habits you can actively pick up on to do your part. Such habits are relatively simple things and are more often than not, cost-free. The first action you can take is to reduce the time you spend travelling by car, or by other means of public transport. Of course practically speaking this can be rather impractical at times, but should you need to travel a short distance, consider travelling by foot or bicycle instead. You may also consider turning off electrical appliances and items in your house when they are not in use, this can have a positive effect on how much carbon emissions your household omits. Of course donating to a good cause that is directly working to resolve the problem doesn’t cost much and as a reward for your donation, you can live knowing you are part of a wider cause, that is making a positive change.

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