Climate Change and Its Effects on Biodiversity


Climate change has direct consequences on the biophysical environment of the earth. In fact, climate change and global warming can affect the length of the seasons, can present an increase in sea levels, and is even related to droughts and floodings.

All of these changes also have severe consequences on the biodiversity of an area, especially within the species level. Biodiversity talks about the variety of living organisms that exist on the earth. Biodiversity also deals with ecosystems, species and species within species.

The healthier an ecosystem is, then the healthier its surroundings will be, including, of course, human beings, so, if populations of species are declining then eventually this will also affect the way in which humans live.

Why is Biodiversity Important?

Take a second to think about the earth and its components as the Jenga game. If you take out a wooden block from the bottom, and you continuously take another after another, then your whole structure will soon fall as well.

This is exactly what happens with biodiversity and the earth, as biodiversity is the bottom block that contributes to the functioning of diverse ecosystems, and once it has fallen it is almost impossible to recover it back.

Biodiversity has a great impact on the environmental well-being of the earth, on our food and even on our medicine.

If, for example, you think about pollinators of plants and crops, then you think about dragonflies, beetles or ladybugs. This variety of pollinators is what is called biodiversity, as each type of pollinator has a specific role within nature.

Humans and Climate Change

Climate patterns in different areas of the world will fluctuate in accordance to the inhabitants of those places, as nowadays climate change is mainly dependant on human beings.

It can be said that as climate changes develop, so will the fluctuation of ecosystems and their biodiversity, as old species will be disappearing while others may be reducing their impact on the earth.

Climate change is a direct consequence of how human beings are using land and what they are releasing into the atmosphere. What’s more, big companies are playing an important part in how the climate has changed as well, since they are known for destroying natural areas by turning them to parking lots, shopping malls or even cities.

These manmade changes not only affect the biodiversity of such an area but make climate change, thus creating more global warming, especially and since they need to cut trees down or remove autochthonous plants in order to convert the natural areas (that have been used for centuries as a protection layer), to build yet another building.

Besides, what affects the biodiversity of a place will also have a direct negative impact on other factors such as the weather. This can result in a decrease in water supply, or even in droughts or floodings.

Climate Change and Medicine

Medicines such as aspirin, morphine and even caffeine have been created with specific chemical parts that are found in plants. If climate change continues to affect biodiversity, then many more unstudied wildlife species will disappear, thus creating a disadvantage to scientists who are still trying to find new sources of inspiration in order to produce future medications.

Think about it, if biodiversity continues to occur then more insect species will decrease their plant pollination, which, in turn, will decrease the opportunity to produce medicine, as more and more plants are being killed off.

Climate Change and Biodiversity

So, as soon as climate change starts to alter temperatures – as it is doing now – the weather will also be affected and this will, in turn, have a great impact on plant and animal life, which are part of the biodiversity of the planet.

If the weather continues to change and the temperature continues to rise, then plenty of animals and plants will eventually disappear, as they will not be adapted to the new changes in the temperature.

As a consequence of rising temperatures, polar regions of the world have also been affected. If you ever read the news you will probably read about how polar bears, penguins and other arctic animals have been travelling to the south in order to find new places to live, as their old habitats are being destroyed. This is in particular bad, as it can also affect the animals’ reproductive timing and mating.

An End to Biodiversity

It can be argued that a lack of biodiversity could also mean an end to biodiversity. The negative effects associated with a decrease in biodiversity do not have a happy ending. In fact, even the slightest change in biodiversity could mean a disruption in the food change that will also affect how humans eat.

Climate change and its consequences such as fires, droughts, floods, cyclones and hurricanes will put today’s vegetation under great stress and they can put species who are tougher and able to survive the most severe of weathers to colonise areas where the rest of the biodiversity has declined.

So, indigenous species will often be displaced by foreign weed species of either animals or plants, which in turn will either create a new balance of the ecosystem or will create an unbalance of it.

If carbon dioxide continues to increase in the atmosphere, then process such as photosynthesis can be disrupted as the basic formula for this to occur is to have water and carbon dioxide.

This, in turn, will mean that plants will not stop growing. On one hand, this is a great factor that can help farmers to upgrade their crops, but for this to happen there must be another fertilisation event that will involve soil moisture and will add other nutrients to the land.

Does It Matter If Species Go Extinct Throughout the World?

Yes, it does matter. Not only will the world be less interesting if fewer animals and plants occupied it, but it is important to know that a diversity of species (thus referred to as biodiversity) means that the ecosystems have a likelihood to survive together.

In fact, they could be maintaining soil fertility, provide clean water to rivers, and will help to pollinate plants that will, in turn, be used for the crops that feed human beings.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *