Learn About the Damaging Effects of Global Warming on Animals and Plants

You’ve heard the warnings: global warming is threatening human civilization. Maybe you’ve even started to take action to confront the problem. But what effect is global warming having outside of our species?

The natural world is sounding a wake up call
. Warming-related changes are happening everywhere. All over the planet, scientists have observed the effects of climate change on the natural world – flowers are blooming earlier, animals are breeding earlier, and ranges of plants and animals are changing size and shape.

All of this is cause for your concern.

Plants and Animals Struggle
to Adapt to Climate Change

Many plants and animals have already begun to respond to the changing climate. A 2003 article in the journal Nature reported effects of global warming in at least 1200 species worldwide. [1]

Behavioral changes endanger whole food chains. For example, some hibernating animals have been observed to wake up earlier or to stop hibernating all together. These animals require food when they are awake, and this need to eat endangers the animals since the food may not be there. It also puts them in competition with other species in need of the same scarce food resources. [2]

Anywhere you look, you’ll find dangerous changes. For more examples, see Live Science’s article on Animals and Plants Adapting to Global Warming. [3]

One-Third of All Species
Extinct by 2050

Global warming could lead to a mass species extinction. Some scientists predict as many as a third of all species will become extinct by 2050. [4] Ecological collapse is major bad news for all living things. If you don’t want humans to go the way of the dinosaurs, it’s best to do everything in your power to reduce these effects.

Danger looms even if we avoid ecological collapse. Species extinctions still lead to a loss of biodiversity, and biodiversity is a major factor in ecological health. We don’t even know all the species that have already been lost or what critical roles they might have played. Some of these extinct plants and animals may have even held the cures to diseases.

Plants and Animals
Need Your Help

We humans have created  these problems. Now it is up to us to make sure we don’t destroy the home we share with all other species. Find out what you can do to make a change.


[1] Effects of global warming already being felt on plants and animals worldwide

[2] Global warming effects may kill off hibernating animals

[3] Animals and plants adapting to climate change

[4] Grim signs mark global warming

Author: Brown, Nathan. A Cooler Climate, 2008.

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