Global warming is a serious issue. It is not only impacting us as a human being but also the whole ecosystem; including animals. Before we jump in, let’s have a quick brief about what exactly global warming is
Global warming happened because the greenhouse gases are trapped the heat radiation, in the form of infrared, from earth to space. This heat then gets absorbed and emitted by gases in the planet’s atmosphere and warming the lower and surface-atmosphere.
Hear Their Sounds; What Animals Need in This Global Warming Era
1. Change in the ecosystem
Global warming effects most terrestrial ecoregions. The increasing of global temperature may lead to the change in ecosystem, where some species may lose their habitat into the extinction. The key is in the habitat disruption which happens due to change in temperature or water source. Both are important to animals. It is a place for them to adapt and feed on. Hence, the change in their habitat will force the animals to reduce their ability to fulfill their needs.
2. Shift the timing of animal events
Global warming is responsible for shifting in the timing of natural cyclical animals events. The example of these events such as bird migratory, hibernation, and reproductive season in animal. Some animals are already responding to this condition by migrating to a farther north or cooler location, like some birds, butterflies, and other mammals are moving away from the equator. Or in the Rocky Mountains, for example, warmer condition allows beetles to attack trees for longer periods. This has a devastating impact on the grizzly bear, which relies on whitebark pine seeds for food. The impact can be greater to the animals who live in a cold place, like on the top of the mountain or in the Arctic. Their place might be not suitable for them to live anymore.
3. Effect the food chain
Remember about the food chain? Even if we lose one species because of extinction, for example, it may affect the whole chain or other animals in the ecosystem.
Let’s take a look into the ocean, or for specific to the coral reefs. We know that coral reefs are home to lots of ocean creatures. The problem is, as the global temperature is rising, the water of the ocean is also getting warmer, which caused damage to the corals, or also known as coral bleaching. The loss of coral reefs then may reduce the habitat for lots of fish or other ocean creatures and disrupt the food chain in the ocean ecosystem.
4. Force the animals to leave their home
We see, global warming is forcing the animals to move, to push them away from their habitat because their home is damaged. Some animals then seek for a better place to find food source or nest, but how about the animals who do not migrate?
Even in the avian world, we know that not all birds are migrating. The birds need to have the perfect not only morphology but also physiology to fly for such a long time if they have to migrate.
Or take another example like a polar bear or snow leopard. They are designed to live in the coolest regions. They don’t really have many options left to move, do they? Shrinking ice is also problematic to the bowhead whale and narwhal as they rely on ice for protective cover. Not only shrinking ice in the polar region, but global warming also responsible for extreme weather like heat waves, drought, forest fire, and insect infestation.
5. Effect the population
This also affects the turtle’s population. The gender of the turtles that hatch is depending on the sand temperatures. Because of the rising temperature, the rates of female turtles may come to outnumber the males. Not to mention that the rising sea levels, on the other hand, can also destroy their nesting site.
For short, global warming impacts all of us, all of the animal species. But according to Defenders of Wildlife, there some wildlife species that hardest hit by global warming, including reindeer, arctic foxes, polar bear, penguins, toads, gray wolves, tree swallows, painted turtles, and salmon. The list can go on and of if we let it happen to become worse. We don’t want any more animal extinction, right?
So now, what animals need and what can we do to help the animals in this global warming era?
They need to be heard, so we have to listen.
Remember that the key to damage of global warming to the animals is in the habitat disruption. Animal habitat is important for the animals not only as a home or food source but also habitat is their ‘playground’ to develop their adaptation and habits. Then let’s try as much as we can to protect and preserve their habitat!
You know that some birds migrate to find a better or warmer place, right? You may also notice some of them are fly across your hometown, so try to preserve their habitat by providing wildlife in your backyard. Try to put suet, for examples, as a food source for the bird who’s having a hard time finding food in the cold weather.
You can also start with your own trash. Remember that most of our trash is dumped into the ocean. So try to manage your disposal or even join as a volunteer to clean up the beach. Trash is also one of the reasons the coral bleaching. Try to dispose of your trash properly!
There are still many ways that we can do to help the nature dying from global warming. One thing for sure is we have to listen: We have to notice our action and see the bigger picture of it, that here, we share the mother earth with other wellbeing, including animals. So try to be nice to them and realize that they also have rights to live.