Climate change is affecting wildlife populations and various species that are having their natural habitat affected by extreme weather conditions and global warming. According to a NASA research, global sea level has risen by 6.7 inches in the last century. Earth has become warmer and warmer due to global warming. This means that animals are forced to behave differently to adjust to these changes. The following ten animals are in danger of extinction because of climate change and various human activities that put them at risk.
- Siberian Tiger
Illegal logging and hunting are lessening the Siberian Tiger’s population. The Tigers need dense forests for hunting, and they thrive in spaces where people are not allowed to roam freely. Another threat to the Siberian Tiger is the infliction of diseases and parasites. Because their habitat is less dense, they venture into areas inhabited by people. As a result, they contract diseases from domesticated animals.
- Giant Otter
Once upon a time, Giant Otters were prevalent in tropical rainforests of the Amazons. These days, you will find them in the remote waters of South America. Humans hunt otters for their fur, but their biggest threat is pollution. Otters eat up to ten pounds of fish per day and water ecosystems are always threatened by human activities and spills into the ocean.
Gold miners use mercury when they separate iron ore from mud. Rain washes the mercury into the water. Fish eat the mercury and pass it on to otters while they feed. And the enormous shortcoming is that mercury is poisonous when ingested by humans or animals.
- Nile Crocodile
The Earth’s temperature is increasing and affecting the Nile Crocodiles in their search of mates. According to Dr. Alison Leslie, the temperature of the embryo during incubation determines the gender of a Nile Crocodile. For example, a temperature of 89.6 °F produces male crocodiles. Conversely, a temperature higher than 89.6 °F creates female crocodiles. As a consequence, alligator population cannot appropriately and naturally reproduce due to climate change and global warming.
- Snow Leopard
The Snow Leopard currently has a population of fewer than 7,000 individuals. They live in the Himalayan Mountains at very high altitudes. They need a vast area of land to track their prey and breed to grow the species. Due to the continuous greenhouse gas emissions caused by human development and urbanization, the Leopards are in danger of losing their natural habitat.
- Sea Turtle
Sea level is rising because the polar ice is melting and temperatures are growing. This floods the turtle’s nests, which prevents them from raising their young. Breeding is impaired and, consequently, their numbers are continually depleting.
- Tasmanian Wolf
These animals survive and feed on plants they find in the forest. The warm temperature forces certain plant species to move further up on the mountain. The gorillas rely on the vegetation in the woods. Without adequate facilities and a proper diet, the Mountain Gorilla’s population is in danger of diminishing significantly.
- Polar Bear
Polar Bears spend most of their time at sea in the Arctic region. The ice is melting because of climate conditions and global warming. There is little to no food on dry land during spring and summer, which results in weight loss. Consequently, many baby Polar Bears die of starvation, so they cannot even reach the reproduction age to secure a slightly higher number of heirs.
- African Black Rhinoceros
The species is declining because hunters are poaching their horns and tails for wildlife black market trade. For example, the Borneo culture uses a rhino’s tail to reduce labor pains during childbirth, while the Arab culture uses the horns for adornment to showcase wealth. Hunting and killing are consistently decreasing their numbers and slowly leading to extinction.
- Giant Panda
These animals could die of starvation since their source of food is not growing because the temperature is steadily increasing. The pandas rely on bamboo for nourishment. The increase in human population and industrialization is diminishing the commodities pandas need for survival.
- Tasmanian Wolf
Tumor threatens the population of the Devil Wolf since the disease is always spreading among their individuals. Climate conditions are having an impact as well since warm temperatures are diminishing their food. If there is not enough rain to maintain vegetation, the Devil Wolf will starve.
Causes related to Global Warming
One of the leading causes of climate condition is the “greenhouse effect.” This happens because the Earth overheats and the atmosphere incorporate it. This results in the “greenhouse effect.” Despite the fact that Earth’s natural greenhouse effect is mandatory to support life, human activities, primarily burning of fossil fuels and deforestation have intensified this effect, causing global warming.
- Water vapor (H2O)
Water vapor adds more to the “greenhouse effect” than any other gasses. While the earth’s atmosphere warms up, water vapor rises and clouds and moisture buildup further compound the issue.
- Carbon dioxide (CO2)
This type of gas occurs naturally through breathing, volcanic activities, and deforestation. Burnt fossil fuels contain it as well. The over-abundance of fossil fuels contributes to the “greenhouse effect” and further increase temperature on Earth.
- Methane (CH4)
It is a type of gas that emanates due to decomposed waste in landfills, agriculture, and rice cultivation. CH4 is more active in the atmosphere than CO2, but there is less of it in the air that people usually breathe.
- Nitrous oxide (N2O)
The gas is released due to the cultivation of the soil. Farmers use commercial and organic fertilizers, which contribute to the production of N2O. Other factors that create N20 are fossil fuel combustion, nitric acid production, and the biomass burning.
- Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
These are synthetic compounds used in refrigeration and aerosols. They are harmful to the ozone layer and harm human life and ecosystems on Earth.
- Human Activities
The constant burning of coal, oil, and fossil fuels is adding to the CO2 released in the air. The action results in the Earth getting warmer. This warm climate increases evaporation, thereby forcing rainfall. Some areas become dryer, and the sea level is steadily growing, therefore diminishing land commodities and adequate conditions for species proliferation.
Snow Leopards and Polar Bears rely on colder climates to survive. Glaciers are melting at a faster pace because of the damage to the ozone layer.
- Sun energy changes
A decrease in solar activity from the sun added to the Little Ice Age occurred between 1650 and 1850. Currently, the upper atmosphere is experiencing a cooling effect. The Earth’s lower surface is much warmer. This occurs because the greenhouse gasses are trapping the heat in the surface layer.
The burning of land to remove trees converts the carbon into carbon dioxide. Too much CO2 in the air depletes the ozone layer.
The fertilizers farmers use release nitrous oxide. Both the CH4 and N20 are greenhouse gasses. They are harmful to the atmosphere when used in excess.
How we can help
People can contribute to preventing global warming by using compact fluorescent light bulbs, installing programmable thermostats and replacing filters on furnaces and air conditioners to reduce energy. On the next purchase, choose energy efficient appliances. Wrapping water heaters in an insulated blanket will also save energy. Energy companies can use alternatives to coal and fossil fuels. On a much larger scale, lawmakers can enact laws to improve the energy policy.