ASSIGNMENT NEED TO BE REVISED. Have to use paper with final assignment. Highlighted areas need to be REVISED. Professor has graded the assignment and her comments are in BOLD. DUE 5/14/2018 NO PLAGIARISM
Title: Analyzing the Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity Loss
Climate change is an urgent global issue, with significant implications for ecosystems and the biodiversity within them. The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of climate change on biodiversity loss, focusing on the key factors that contribute to this phenomenon. This research is essential to increase our understanding of the role of climate change in species extinction and to inform conservation strategies.
Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss
Biodiversity refers to the variety of living organisms that exist within a particular habitat or ecosystem. It encompasses the genetic, species, and ecosystem diversity, all of which are crucial for the stability and functioning of ecosystems (UNDP, 2014). Climate change is one of the major drivers of biodiversity loss, affecting both terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
1. Changing Temperature Patterns
Climate change is altering global temperature patterns, leading to increased average temperatures and more frequent and intense heatwaves. These temperature changes directly impact species’ survival rates, as they are adapted to specific temperature ranges. Species that cannot tolerate higher temperatures may experience reduced reproductive success, decreased population sizes, and ultimately face extinction (IPCC, 2014).
For example, coral reefs are highly sensitive to temperature changes. Rising sea temperatures can lead to coral bleaching, a process in which corals expel the colorful algae that provide them with essential nutrients, leading to their eventual death (Hughes et al., 2018). The loss of coral reefs not only affects marine biodiversity but also has adverse impacts on coastal communities that rely on these ecosystems for their livelihoods.
2. Alteration of Precipitation Patterns
Climate change is also causing shifts in precipitation patterns, leading to changes in rainfall intensity, frequency, and distribution. These changes have profound effects on species that rely on specific moisture levels for survival. For instance, forest-dependent species such as amphibians and certain plant species depend on sufficient moisture to complete their life cycles successfully. A shift in precipitation patterns, such as extended droughts or increased precipitation events, can disrupt these life cycles, reducing the population sizes and potentially driving species to extinction (CBD, 2019).
Furthermore, the alteration of precipitation patterns can impact migratory patterns and breeding behaviors of species. For example, the timing of bird migrations may be disrupted if there is a mismatch between the availability of food resources and the species’ arrival time. Such mismatches can lead to reduced reproductive success and population declines (Both et al., 2006).
3. Changing Sea Levels
Climate change also leads to rising sea levels, primarily driven by the melting of ice caps and glaciers. Rising sea levels can inundate coastal habitats, such as marshes, mangroves, and low-lying islands, which support a diverse range of species. As these habitats disappear or shrink in size, species that depend on them for survival experience significant declines in population sizes or may entirely disappear (Cazenave et al., 2014).
For instance, the small island nations in the Pacific are particularly vulnerable to climate change, as their landmasses are limited. Rising sea levels threaten the very existence of these nations, causing severe biodiversity loss and displacing the human populations that call these islands home. Furthermore, the loss of coral reefs due to sea level rise has cascading effects on the marine biodiversity that relies on these ecosystems for habitat and food resources.
4. Changes in Phenological Events
Phenology refers to recurring seasonal events in the life cycles of plants and animals, such as the budding of leaves, the emergence of insects, or the migration of birds. Climate change can disrupt these phenological events, leading to mismatches between species’ life cycle events and environmental conditions (Thackeray et al., 2010). Such mismatches can have severe consequences for species that depend on these aligned events, such as predator-prey relationships or plant-pollinator interactions.
For example, as temperatures warm, plants may bloom earlier in the spring, while the emergence of insect pollinators may not align with this shifted timing. This can result in reduced pollination rates, affecting plant reproduction and potentially leading to declines in plant populations. Biodiversity loss can thus arise from disrupted phenological interactions caused by climate change.