How Is Climate Change Affecting The Earth's Different Ecosystems?

From melting sea ice to expanding deserts, climate change is leaving no part of planet Earth untouched.
From melting sea ice to expanding deserts, climate change is leaving no part of planet Earth untouched.

10. A Worldwide Problem

Increased Global Warming has affected many terrestrial eco-regions, and the increased temperature has driven many species to move out of their habitats, alongside rising sea levels, weather changes, and lessened snow cover. The rising temperature has even affected the environment as glaciers are shrinking, plants and animals’ ranges have shifted and ice on rivers and lakes is also breaking. The animal and plant species have shown a change in behavior as they started moving towards the higher altitudes, and it is seen that the birds, butterflies, and plants are moving towards the poles by 6.1 kilometers per decade. Climate change has become the biggest threat as it impacts the biodiversity.

9. Tropical Rainforests

They cover 30 million square kilometers of the Earth’s surface and contribute only 6% of its space, while it supplies 40% of the Earth’s oxygen nonetheless. The unique features of the Tropical Rainforests are high temperatures, lack of seasonal variation, and a high amount of rainfall, which allow its ecosystems to be so diverse. The climate change affects the rate of change of the environment and the pace of evolution as the species faces the necessity to adapt higher temperatures. Species that are living in the rainforests now fits into the changing aspect of the environment. A greater temperature swing is also caused in their environment as these creatures move away from the equator.

8. Temperate Forests

To understand the change in the temperate forests, one needs to understand the species which relate to each other in the environment, and how they relate individually to the environment. The Global Warming or the climatic shifts can cause the disturbances, which will make the forests not worth living for plants and animals. With higher temperatures, either the species have to migrate, adapt to the environment or they die in the region. The presence of carbon dioxide in the environment may also affect the forest population and cause death rate, wildfires can occur, pine beetle can also infect the entire forest region and much more.

7. Taiga

The forest wildfires affect the Taiga region with the change in climate, and even human developmental activities have affected it a great deal. The Taiga region responds differently to the climatic conditions because of hydrology and soil development. The Taiga region also faces threat due to the lightning strikes and natural regeneration processes. Conifer trees are also found in the area but their growth is limited, and their seeds which fall on the ground are also dispersed by the wind.

6. Tundra

The tundra covers a tenth of the Earth’s land, and therein one can find frozen bogs which have a minimal level of vegetation diversity. As these are among the sensitive habitats of the world so it is also affected by the Global Warming. The climatic change is a threat to Tundra vegetation as the soil of the land is carbon-bound and when the frozen soil thaws the organic contents present over there begins to decay, and it releases carbon dioxide. The major threats which are faced by the region are that the permafrost will radically change the landscape of the area and the lives of the species living there. The ozone depletion at North and South poles will harm the Tundra region; Air Pollution will cause smog clouds, which will contaminate lichen, and is a food source for many animals and much more.

5. Mangroves

The climate change has drastic effects on the Mangroves too as the sea level may rise and the sediment surface may not keep pace with this. Other factors which may affect the Mangroves are high-water events, precipitation, atmospheric CO2 concentrations, health of the functionally linked ecosystem which is nearby, and changes in temperature. If there will be a damage to the Mangroves then it may seriously affect the coastal communities and the fisheries directly. A serious threat will also be seen in this manner that if the Mangroves are finished then during coastal storms, the human lives cannot be saved as the forest dampens the wave heights and the speed of the wind. Other threats can be the risk of floods, saline intrusion, erosion of coastal lines and storm surges will be increased.

4. Savannas and Grasslands

The Savannas have been affected by the release of carbon in the air as the vegetation has been removed from some areas. The climate change has social, economic and ecological impact as in the Savannas, the coral reefs are at risk, and the rising sea level is also one of the issues. Another threat is the feral animals, floods, cyclone, and fire in the region and increase in the mosquitoes. The grasslands are mainly found in U.S. region, and climate change has affected it considerably as the species which are living in these grasslands have to shift to other areas to compensate for the climate change.

3. Shrublands

The shrublands, mainly in the areas of U.S. which have been researched extensively for the impact of climate changes, have shown that the shrub species have developed the tolerance to largely counter changes in the soil and water. Even it was found that these shrublands if faces reduction in the carbon sequestration with the climate change then the loss of wildlife habitat can be faced and soil erosion and wildfire are stated to be other causes.

2. Desert

The climate change affects the Desert ecosystem to a vast extent because, with the rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide, the ecology will be disrupted. This will give rise to changes in the fire and nutrient cycles, and the distribution of water in the area. It has also been found that this also gives rise to exotic plant species, which are a cause of fire as they recover fast from it and prepare the ground for the next blaze, all the while crowding out native flora.

1. Solutions to the Problem

Though climate change affects these ecosystems drastically, prospective solutions to the above problems have also been given by researchers. They include upgrading infrastructure, a lessened use of fossil fuels, switching to vegetarian diets, to stop indiscriminately cutting down trees and forests, stabilization or even decreases in human population sizes, and lessened energy consumption, all of which can help to solve climate change and the problems it causes.


More in Environment