There is no iota of doubt that climate change is a reality. Now, climate scientists have proofs indicating temperatures are rising and causing great impact on biodiversity. The climate changes which are currently taking place are too sudden and dramatic for many species to be able to adapt. Due to climate change, various things are happening like the glaciers are melting, sea level is rising, sea water is warming, extreme weather events, etc. All these factors are disturbing the ecological balance and causing a dramatic impact on several species. It is predicted that global temperatures will rise by between 1°C and 6°C with more warming at the poles than at the equator. This would eventually impact the rainfall which in turn influences agriculture, river courses, and wetlands, as well as changes in the distribution of biodiversity, including disease-causing organisms.
One of the major effects of global warming is an increase in the temperature of sea water. The warm water dissolves less oxygen and restricts its distribution into the deeper ocean, causing the suffocation of oceans. This is affecting the behavior and growth of fish and other ocean organisms as lack of oxygen are making them more susceptible to disease, or make it more difficult to reproduce. As larger forms of sea life depend on oxygen to survive, either they are dying or abandoning oxygen-starved waters. This is further upsetting the balance of life, disrupt food webs or increase their vulnerability to predators.
The absorption of carbon dioxide is causing acidification of ocean water. The alteration in the pH balance is causing harm to coral, plankton, shellfish and other species that use calcium carbonate to help form their shells and skeletons.
Another impact of global warming is melting of ice and glaciers. Due to climate change, the Arctic is heating up faster. The melting ice is forcing bears to burn huge amounts of energy by walking or swimming long distances to get to any remaining ice. The published study by Andrew Derocher, leading polar bear expert and a professor at the University of Alberta, has claimed that polar bears aren’t made for walking. They are quickly losing weight because of excessive walking.
Because of the rising temperatures on land as well as on sea, some of the species are forced to migrate to cooler habitat. This is also pushing disease-carrying insects into new areas. Not only, is this disturbing the food chain but also damaging important industries, such as forestry and tourism. In a nutshell, we can say that mass migration of species is actually shifting natural resources.