Climate change leads to extinction
Summary: A major issue in our world due to our climate changes is the declining amphibian and reptile populations. Amphibians in particular are very sensitive to changes in the environment. Unfortunately, the amphibian population has been declining at an alarming rate. Malcom MacCallum of the Biological Science Program at Texas A&M University calculated that the current extinction rate of amphibians could be 211 times the background amphibian extinction rate. Amphibians are an important signal to the health of biodiversity; when they are stressed and struggling, biodiversity may be under pressure. When they are doing well, biodiversity is probably healthy. Reptiles are also taking a tole due to the climate changes. The BBC reported that on a "global-scale study" published in the Science Journal that climate change could wipe out 20% of the world's lizards species by 2080. Some scientists suggest that lizards have already reached their threshold for extinctions due to climate change. Like amphibians, lizards are also very sensitive to climate change. Rising temperatures leave lizards unable to spend sufficient time searching for good, as they need to rest and regulate their body temperature. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature , 19% of the world's reptiles are estimated to be threatened with extinction. These species under danger include snakes, lizards, crocodiles, turtles, and tortoises. The study included that the rates of extinction amongst the different species are not evenly spread. For example, it is estimated that 30% of freshwater reptiles are close to extinction, while freshwater turtles alone are at a 50% risk.
My standpoint: I believe that this is an injustice in our environment. These helpless animals are basically suffering due to what humans are doing to the environment. We basically have total control over why these animals have been suffering from climate change and only we have the power to fix that. We must think about future generations and how they can benefit from these animals in the ecosystems. Not only for future generations to be able to grow up with these animals, but also these animals are a huge part of their surrounding ecosystems. We are not the only ones living in our earth; we must remember that there are so many other animals and plants that share the same earth and that they deserve an equally sustainable environment. Due to the negative effects that climate change has on these animals, we must be more aware and cautious of how we are polluting our environment. Although the solution of reviving these animals is not easy, we could take little steps to hopefully save many species.
Discussion Question: Do you think we can end up saving these species of animals before they reach their extinction? Why or why not? And if so, how can we prevent their extinction?
Citation: "Loss of Biodiversity and Extinctions." - Global Issues. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2015.