Climate Change On Earth Essay

2803 words - 12 pages

Climate change is a phenomenon that is continually posingchallenges at the earth, its inhabitants and the natural systems that exists. Therefore climate change is a threat to the earth’s biodiversity similar to land degradation and habitat loss. These are different in the sense that climate change has only recently caught academics attention (Foden et al, 2013). Threats to diversity like habitat degradation may appear on one site and cause threats on local scales, on the contrary to climate change, which is global and affects the earth as a whole. This then is a demand for global consensus. Sommer (2010) found evidence that pointed out a global increase of 0.6oC in temperature. This paper aims to discuss the implications of climate change that are already visible and the anticipated implications on conservation and reserve design. The paper will point out the species and habitats that will be affected and how they can be protected by altering reserve design.

Climate change is the alternate warming or cooling of the climate of the earth’s surface. It is associated with phrases like global warming and also closely related to glacial and interglacial processes. It is essentially a natural process but influenced by anthropogenic activities. It is a subject of interest since it has such wide implications. There has been an ongoing debate as to whether climate change is actually partially anthropogenically motivated. Those against the opinion argued that it was just a natural process and humans had no hand in it. This is the initial reason for the formation of the IPCC. An abbreviation of Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change it points out evidence for climate change and how humans have caused it.Activities that involve the burning of fossil fuels have resulted in the release of CO2 onto the atmosphere, aiding in the trapping of heat in the atmosphere. The use of products containing Chlorofluorocarbons, together with the release of methane is one of the reasons why climate change is said to be human induced. These are all gases that trap heat on earth making it increasingly warmer (Houghton, 2000).

Glacial periods are those that are characterized by the drastic cooling of the earth resulting in ice sheets forming. This brings about dry and cold conditions in the region affected. An interglacial period is the contrast as it implies warmer moist conditions. It is the melting of ice sheets that are formed during the glaciers. It is the periods in between glacial periods. The quaternary period was characterized by these alternating climatic processes (……).These had an effect on the distribution of plant and animal species and caused some of the extinctions. For instance during the Last Glacial Maximum caused the extinction of Picea martinezii and Megaloceros giganteus. Juniperus osteosperma tolerated the cooler environment, Picea glauca dispersed and migrated to warmer environments while the Pinus flexilis shifted it’s habitat range (Dawson et al,...

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