Global warming is a concerning phenomenon that has begun to dramatically change the environment, with potentially irreversible effects. Both plants and animals are heavily impacted by the rise in temperatures worldwide and the consequential changes to the habitats where they depend on for survival. Ultimately, without the appropriate measures being taken by both humans and nature alike, this could mean the destruction of many of the planet’s precious species.
For plants, the increased intensity of the sun’s rays caused by global warming has resulted in a “light stress”. This has been suggested to be one of the factors causing the death of previously healthy trees, since their photosynthetic capacity is reduced when subjected to extended periods of intense sunlight. Furthermore, rising air temperatures and drought are responsible for creating arid conditions in some areas previously suitable for lush vegetation, prompting the death of plants and altering their growth patterns.
For animals, the effect of global warming is rather evident. The main source of their nourishment, namely vegetation, is affected and either becomes unavailable or indigestible in some cases. Moreover, the reduction of water sources can make the habitats unusable and force many species to relocate or perish. Even with this, the transmission of fatal diseases, provoked by heat and humidity, can also have a drastic impact on animal populations.
The potential for extinctions of many animal species is a very concerning outlook. As sea leveld rise, coastal ecosystems are annihilated, taking away the residences of countless marine creatures. Additionally, innumerable birds, reptiles and other animals could be completely destroyed as their habitats become unsuitable for them. Furthermore, the consequent increase of carbon dioxide levels could affect the development of species and their genetic makeup, leading to an increase in mutations that could have severe implications on their future.
On the flipside, global warming could have some positive effects on a species’ ability to adapt and survive. The rise in temperatures in colder climates, along with newly constructed ecosystems, could bring a shift in the animals’ daily activities, enabling them to become more active at higher temperatures. Therefore, animals living in these regions can better their chances of accessing food and water sources in addition to a more appropriate environment in general. Moreover, many species have already demonstrated an impressive capacity to adapt to the climate changes provoked by global warming and some have even begun to take advantage of the new circumstances.
Though the issue of global warming can often seem like a force out of our control, it is important to reiterate that certain proactive measures can help in reducing the effects of this phenomenon. As individuals, we can actively reduce our emissions and promote natural habitats for both plants and animals. Governments must also fulfil their role in this fight, with strategies such as the creation of sustainable farming practices, efficient water management systems, and the introduction of effective regulations limiting the emissions of gases.
The changes provoked by global warming are admittedly not easy to deal with, but there are still steps that can be taken to protect our planet’s precious flora and fauna. Only by recognizing and transforming our individual and collective behaviors can we ensure the needed protection and preservation of our environment and its inhabitants.