Understanding Climate Change
Climate change involves significant alterations in global temperatures and weather patterns over time. Human activities, particularly fossil fuel burning, amplify natural greenhouse effects, leading to global warming.
Biodiversity: A Definition
Biodiversity encompasses the variety of life on Earth. It includes genetic, species, and ecosystem diversity, each crucial for resilience and providing ecosystem services essential for human survival.
Climate's Impact on Species
Warming temperatures shift habitats, forcing species to migrate. Those unable to adapt or move face extinction. For example, Arctic species like polar bears struggle as sea ice melts.
Genetic Diversity Loss
Climate change affects genetic diversity by creating population bottlenecks. This reduces genetic variation, which is vital for species to adapt to changing environments, potentially leading to widespread extinction.
Ecosystems Under Threat
Coral reefs, often called 'rainforests of the sea,' are dying due to ocean acidification and warming. This endangers over a million marine species that depend on them.
Changing Disease Dynamics
Climate change alters the distribution of disease vectors like mosquitoes, introducing illnesses to new regions. This can affect human, wildlife, and livestock health, disrupting ecosystems.
To combat biodiversity loss, strategies include establishing protected areas, restoring degraded ecosystems, and aiding species migration. Landscape corridors and assisted gene flow are innovative conservation approaches.