Monday, April 21, 2014

A Changing World with the Changing Climate: Part II

                                         (Laura Poppick,

            In this second part of how climate change is affecting the “spheres” of the Earth, I will look into how climate change is affecting the biosphere. The biosphere includes all living things, and every species on Earth has to make adaptations in order to increase their ability to survive. Some species have already had some good success making adaptation, while some of the species are suffering. Our goal as the dominant species on this planet is how do we not only increase our survival rate through adaptation, but also help those species that are currently suffering.
            Some species have actually found climate change to be very beneficial. The Angel butterfly has been able to migrate and reproduce across many countries in Europe, Northern Africa, and Northern Asia due to the warmer temperatures; the Albatross birds have been able to sustain longer flights and find new sources of food. Another example includes the polar bear.  Polar bears were predicted to struggle with the climate change and melting sea ice; however, polar bears have shown resilience by changing their diet to a mixture of plants and animals. Scientists believe that their diet changes will have to keep pace with climate change, but the polar bear has shown the ability to make the adjustment.
            Unfortunately, not many species have been able to report a positive adjustment to climate change. Insects are one group of species that have had struggles adjusting to climate change. Insects have actually thrived with a rising mean temperature. For example, the warmer temperatures in Korea have lengthened tick and mosquito season. However, this has caused an issue for humans and animals as it has increased the spreading of disease. While those insects have thrived, many insects have suffered from the extreme temperature swings. Insects need a consistent environment, and they cannot handle the abrupt shift from hot and cold that many temperate regions have been experiencing. Another species that has been struggling is the Magellanic penguin. The Magellanic penguin resides in Argentina, and the strong Argentina rains have been causing the chicks to suffer from hypothermia and to die before they can even make it through the season.
            Climate change is not something that we can change tomorrow. Unfortunately, many species, including humans, are already starting to suffer from the causes of climate change. Therefore, we need to take the initiative to start adapting to the causes of climate change, and help other species adapt to climate change as well. The Korea example describes that climate change is going to cause an increased likelihood for the passing of disease. Therefore, we should place an increased emphasis for vaccines and stress the importance for civilians to have check-ups that they have all of their vaccinations. Also, for the Magellanic penguin, scientists should research for to keep the penguins warm through strong rains so they no longer suffer from hypothermia. Unfortunately, we will not be able to save all species. We cannot help make insects immune to the temperature change nor can we collect all the insects to protect them from sudden shifts in temperature. However, we should make an effort to protect the species that we can because we depend on many species for one reason or another, especially if we are the main contributor to the cause of climate change.

1 comment:

  1. Other wildlife that are affected by changes in growing season, climate, and the abundance of other species in their communities include crop pollinators and pest species. These species are typically good at dispersing offspring and have higher reproductive rates, and those traits could make pests a problem over a broader region (e.g. mountain pine beetle) and complicate crop or timber production. And we have already discussed issues affecting honey bees and other pollinators in this blog, including climate change. These "wildlife" factors are part of the reasons why food production is expected to become more challenging in future: