You’d have to answer 2 questions 3 pages each. Please read the the attached prompt. Provide a clear thesis, sufficient supporting peer reviewed evidence, APA format, and reference page. The full paper should be 6 pages. Unplagairized.
Title: The Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity Loss
Thesis: Climate change, driven by human activities, is causing significant biodiversity loss worldwide. This is evident through numerous scientific studies that support the link between climate change and the decline or extinction of various species, with implications for ecological balance and ecosystem services. This paper aims to explore the key mechanisms through which climate change impacts biodiversity and to examine the evidence that supports this claim.
Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth, encompassing the diversity of ecosystems, species, and genes. It plays a fundamental role in maintaining ecological balance, providing ecosystem services, and supporting human well-being. However, climate change resulting from human activities poses a significant threat to global biodiversity.
Over the past century, the Earth’s average surface temperature has risen significantly due to the release of large amounts of greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere, primarily from the burning of fossil fuels. These GHGs, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O), trap heat within the Earth’s atmosphere, leading to global warming and climate change.
1. Impacts on Species Distribution and Migration
Climate change alters the distribution and migratory patterns of plant and animal species. As the temperature and precipitation patterns shift, species are forced to either adapt to the changing conditions, migrate to more suitable habitats, or face extinction. Species with limited mobility and specialized habitat requirements are particularly vulnerable.
For example, polar bears in the Arctic are facing habitat loss as sea ice decreases due to rising temperatures. These bears rely on sea ice as a platform for hunting seals, their primary source of food. With less sea ice available, the bears are forced to travel longer distances to find food, leading to increased mortality rates and reduced reproduction success.
2. Changes in Phenology and Reproductive Cycles
Climate change disrupts the timing of key ecological events, such as flowering, migration, and reproduction, which are often dependent on specific environmental cues. Shifts in phenology can have cascading effects throughout the food web, affecting the interactions between species and potentially leading to population declines.
For example, many bird species rely on the availability of insect populations during breeding seasons. As temperatures warm, the timing of the emergence of insects may change, leading to a mismatch between the peak availability of food and the nesting period of birds. This can result in reduced breeding success and declining populations.
3. Habitat Loss and Fragmentation
Climate change can lead to the loss and fragmentation of habitats, with profound consequences for biodiversity. Rising temperatures, altered precipitation patterns, and increased incidence of extreme weather events, such as hurricanes and droughts, can all contribute to habitat degradation and destruction.
For instance, coral reefs, which are crucial habitats supporting diverse marine ecosystems, are currently under severe threat from rising ocean temperatures and acidification. When water temperatures exceed certain thresholds, corals undergo a process known as bleaching, whereby the symbiotic relationship between corals and photosynthetic algae is disrupted, leading to coral death. This not only impacts coral reef biodiversity but also affects the many species that depend on these reefs for food and shelter.
4. Loss of Genetic Diversity
Climate change can also reduce genetic diversity within populations, making species more susceptible to disease, environmental stress, and reduced adaptability. Small population sizes resulting from habitat fragmentation and isolation can limit gene flow and increase the risk of inbreeding.
For example, the American pika, a small mammal found in high-elevation regions, is highly vulnerable to climate change. Rising temperatures have caused the thermal envelope of suitable habitat for pikas to shrink, leading to reduced population sizes and isolated populations. These factors reduce genetic diversity and increase the likelihood of local extinctions.
Climate change poses an existential threat to biodiversity by disrupting species distribution, altering phenology, causing habitat loss and fragmentation, and reducing genetic diversity. The evidence presented in this paper underscores the urgent need for concerted global action to mitigate climate change and protect biodiversity. By adopting sustainable practices, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and promoting conservation efforts, society can aid in safeguarding the rich tapestry of life on Earth and ensure the well-being of future generations. Further research and monitoring are crucial for gaining a thorough understanding of the complexities of these impacts and developing effective strategies for mitigating and adapting to climate change’s consequences on biodiversity.