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Climate climate change causes nature to change  the world affected | Upload General

Climate Change Causes Nature To Change: The World Affected

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by: Sharai Hoekema
climate change causes nature to change  the world affected | Upload

Climate Change Causes Nature To Change: The World Affected is the third article in a series of 6 on the topic of climate change.

One of the most important consequences of climate change is the capability that it has to irreversibly change the world around us. This statement should not be news to you, nor should it be surprising. Yet it never hurts to emphasise just how much the world is affected by the actions that we take today. Climate change is moving ahead at a rapid pace, with various animals, plants and even microbiota scrambling to catch up.

All around the world, species are being displaced, forced to move to different lands that are safe(r) and provide (more) sufficient nutrition. We are facing a true Diaspora of not just species, but businesses, people and diseases being spread out around the world as well. 

This trend was, most likely, first recognised in shrubs. In the 19th century, willows in the Alaskan Arctic did not get much taller than a small child. They were perfectly suited for their environment and managed to balance the ecosystem. However, as temperatures rose as a result of increased fossil fuel emissions, effectively lengthening the growing seasons, shrubs grew spectacularly - up to double their original size.

Now, there were some moose who considered these shrubs to be a particularly tasty meal. Before the 20th century, they did not bother to cross the Brooks Range, the mountain range stretching from northern Alaska to Canada’s Yukon Territory. They knew that the lands to the north did not have much to offer. That is, until they slowly started migrating over the range less than a century ago. Today, they can be found meandering all along the Arctic rivers - now that the vegetation is tall enough to withstand layers of snow and able to withstand the more moderate temperatures.
Moose river
Not much later, the hares followed - snacking on the same plants and enjoying the same new lands. Moose and hares are now becoming a fixture in the diet of indigenous Alaskan hunters, as they are facing difficulties hunting for their ‘original’ meal - consisting of seals, that have now been driven away by the melting ice.

It is a cycle that is easily recognised as the so-called butterfly effect: a relatively minor adjustment has had far-reaching consequences and is impacting the local environment on an increasingly larger scale. Thousands of those effects put in motion by climate change can be pointed out, with human-caused climate change radically changing the life of all beings inhabiting this earth. Plant and animal species tend to find that place where they are most likely to thrive, and with changing temperatures and environments, this may be in a completely different place than before. 

We, as humans, also have to deal with this changing ‘diet’ of animals and plants; while they bring along diseases and pests previously unknown to the areas that we live in. Similarly, our carefully built up businesses and industries, often relying on certain natural resources, have to shift accordingly. The term Diaspora that I used before might not even fully cover this drastically changing global landscape. 

Germs and Pests on the March 

Today, we are battling outbreaks of malaria in areas further north and at higher altitudes in countries such as Colombia and Ethiopia, with mosquitos being able to survive the milder temperatures uphill. In northern Texas, the potentially fatal tropical disease leishmaniasis has claimed its first victims - having been carried up north by sand-flies hosting the parasite.
Mosquito
It is not just our health that is suffering these adverse effects. Agriculture is suffering as well, with crop pests expanding their territories. There are diamondback moths, feasting on the vegetables grown by urban farmers, who have recently moved into South Africa. Then there are the numerous funguses and pests creating havoc on Latin America’s coffee plantations. France is facing a similar problem, with their olives, wines and lavender under siege. 

Not everyone is losing, though. A number of those migration patterns have led to more favourable circumstances for some: the Atlantic mackerel, for instance, has moved so far up north that it entered the Icelandic waters. Now, the country is enjoying a large share of the market previously held by Europe alone. 

So we cannot really say that it is all bad. It is just changing - and requiring us to change and adapt along with it, good or bad as it may be. The point is that wildlife is, in fact, feeling the effects of climate change; impacting us humans in ways we are only starting to see the first motions of.

Watch out for oak processionary caterpillars

The oak processionary caterpillar has made headlines in The Netherlands in recent weeks. For an insect this small, it is rather surprising to see how quickly it has become the subject of a national crisis. It first set foot in the small European country in 1991, in the far south. Over the years, it has steadfastly increased its geographical range, with climate change nudging it further north-east. There are a lot of oak trees in the south of the Netherlands, which coincidentally make up its favourite snack.
Procession catapillar
From mid-May to mid-July, this has prompted a rather strange sight: oak trees all wrapped in red-white warning tape. These trees are, in fact, infested with the oak processionary moth (or ‘eikenprocessierups’, as it is known locally). These are poisonous, capable of causing significant discomfort to humans and animals alike - its most prominent symptom being severe itching.
Graphic growth procession catapillar
The affected trees will find themselves being woven in silky nests surrounding their branches and trunks, which does not just occur in forest areas but also in densely populated areas, including those lining streets in cities and towns. Even if you avoid those trees altogether, you might still feel their literal sting: the caterpillar has bristles that can be fired when a threat is perceived, and which can be carried by the wind for up to 500 meters. Enough to affect those living around it.

This only goes to show how a tiny species, previously unknown to an area, can start to dominate a defenceless ecosystem within some short decades.

Half of All Life Is Moving

The oak processionary crisis is not an exception. The general consensus is that species will move when facing a radical shift in their environment. It has been this way for centuries. Our ancestors already knew that they had to find different hunting grounds when seasons would change. So it is not necessarily surprising that species are moving or changing their range as climate change moves along. What is surprising, though, is its pace.

Recently, an inventory was made of over 4,000 species all around the world. The results amazed friend and foe: over half of those were actively ‘on the move’. Land-living creatures are moving at 10 miles per decade, while marine species tend to move up to four times quicker. These are just averages. Some individual species are moving a lot faster. The Atlantic cod, for instance, moves more than 125 miles per decade.

It is not just the physical location that is changing. The biological cycles are quick to follow suit as well. Amphibians, like frogs, have been found to be breeding about eight days earlier with each passing decade. Birds and butterflies are shifting their cycles in a similar fashion, with about four days per decade. Historical research has shown that in Concord, Massachusetts, plants are now flowering some 18 days earlier than they did in the 1850s. 

While those might be too subtle to perceive, people all over - from Asia to Europe and over the Atlantic to America - are finding that springtime jumps upon us sooner than it used to, with trees and shrubs leafing out and animals initiating mating rituals earlier in the season. Something like this can change our ecology as a whole.

Another striking conclusion is that we cannot possibly predict where this will lead us. Although we are able to connect the dots on the majority of changes, we cannot possibly predict all the ways in which species are to respond to the changing environment. Shifts occur at different paces and are triggered by different signals. 

Some species respond favourably to rising temperatures, while others are more in tune with the change in sunlight or precipitation: Californian mountain plants have been observed moving downhill as climate change has brought more precipitation to the valleys.

It is not just the existing species that are adapting to the changing circumstances. New hybrid species are developing as well: having already been found in toads, sharks, butterflies, bears and trout, just to name a few. Climate change is changing ecosystems and throwing species together that were previously kept separate, allowing them to interbreed. 

Other species are put at risk of extinction, with them unable to find a good new ecosystem and/or their favourite food supplies having moved out of reach or dwindling altogether. In West Greenland, for instance, young caribou are dying in large numbers as their mothers are unable to eat sufficient plants during the calving season, leaving them weak and vulnerable. Bumblebees find that their favourite plants have already flowered before they emerge, leaving them scrambling to find their food supplies and unable to pollinate.

In nature, timing is crucial - and these examples point out where exactly timing is threatening species in their very survival. Eventually, this will become visible on a larger scale - possibly even leaving us, humans, with shortages and ecological issues that cannot easily be resolved. 

Some more animals threatened by climate change

All in all, predictions have been made that by the year 2100, about 50% of all the species inhabiting our world could go extinct as the result of climate change - be it through one of the ways described above, or novel ways that we have not even began to observe just yet.

Animals that may depend on us taking action today include bumblebees, whales, elephants, giraffes, insects, marine birds, sharks, coral reefs, butterflies and apes. All innocent victims of our lust for more energy and power, who will find themselves in a shrinking or polluted habitat with dwindling food supplies. 
Large flocks of Common Scoters
No matter where you live, you will undoubtedly find that the species that occupy your habitat are struggling as well; as are the farmers, who are dealing with pests, infected crops and other diseases affecting their businesses. Eventually, we will all suffer the consequences. The world has already been affected and will, if you were to travel 200 years in time, ultimately become utterly unrecognisable. 

https://www.whatsorb.com/category/climate

Bill Long - 15 WEEKS AGO
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Your Comment is Under Moderation
Last paragraph is not factual but only shock opinion. Saying something does not make it reality. No one, I repeat NO ONE, can predict what Earth will be like in 200 years. "Totally unrecognizable" is an opinion only, not based on facts. Progress will be made at all levels of human endeavor. Some good some bad. Time will tell. Just look at humanity over the millenia and predictions that have been made by "educated" persons of their day. Predicting the 200 year future with certainty, by anyone, is laughable at best. Scare tactics only. Life is more complex than any computer model, genius person, Mother Earth, etc. The sky is falling!!! Every generation has people proclaiming doomsday to advance what ever agenda is important to them at the time. Climate change is always happening no matter what people do. Climate change happened before humanity and is continuing with humanity.
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Climate Change Causes Nature To Change: The World Affected

Climate Change Causes Nature To Change: The World Affected is the third article in a series of 6 on the topic of climate change. One of the most important consequences of climate change is the capability that it has to irreversibly change the world around us. This statement should not be news to you, nor should it be surprising. Yet it never hurts to emphasise just how much the world is affected by the actions that we take today. Climate change is moving ahead at a rapid pace, with various animals, plants and even microbiota scrambling to catch up. All around the world, species are being displaced, forced to move to different lands that are safe(r) and provide (more) sufficient nutrition. We are facing a true Diaspora of not just species, but businesses, people and diseases being spread out around the world as well.   This trend was, most likely, first recognised in shrubs. In the 19th century, willows in the Alaskan Arctic did not get much taller than a small child. They were perfectly suited for their environment and managed to balance the ecosystem. However, as temperatures rose as a result of increased fossil fuel emissions, effectively lengthening the growing seasons, shrubs grew spectacularly - up to double their original size. Now, there were some moose who considered these shrubs to be a particularly tasty meal. Before the 20th century, they did not bother to cross the Brooks Range, the mountain range stretching from northern Alaska to Canada’s Yukon Territory. They knew that the lands to the north did not have much to offer. That is, until they slowly started migrating over the range less than a century ago. Today, they can be found meandering all along the Arctic rivers - now that the vegetation is tall enough to withstand layers of snow and able to withstand the more moderate temperatures. Not much later, the hares followed - snacking on the same plants and enjoying the same new lands. Moose and hares are now becoming a fixture in the diet of indigenous Alaskan hunters, as they are facing difficulties hunting for their ‘original’ meal - consisting of seals, that have now been driven away by the melting ice. It is a cycle that is easily recognised as the so-called butterfly effect: a relatively minor adjustment has had far-reaching consequences and is impacting the local environment on an increasingly larger scale. Thousands of those effects put in motion by climate change can be pointed out, with human-caused climate change radically changing the life of all beings inhabiting this earth. Plant and animal species tend to find that place where they are most likely to thrive, and with changing temperatures and environments, this may be in a completely different place than before.   We, as humans, also have to deal with this changing ‘diet’ of animals and plants; while they bring along diseases and pests previously unknown to the areas that we live in. Similarly, our carefully built up businesses and industries, often relying on certain natural resources, have to shift accordingly. The term Diaspora that I used before might not even fully cover this drastically changing global landscape.   Germs and Pests on the March   Today, we are battling outbreaks of malaria in areas further north and at higher altitudes in countries such as Colombia and Ethiopia, with mosquitos being able to survive the milder temperatures uphill. In northern Texas, the potentially fatal tropical disease leishmaniasis has claimed its first victims - having been carried up north by sand-flies hosting the parasite. It is not just our health that is suffering these adverse effects. Agriculture is suffering as well, with crop pests expanding their territories. There are diamondback moths, feasting on the vegetables grown by urban farmers, who have recently moved into South Africa. Then there are the numerous funguses and pests creating havoc on Latin America’s coffee plantations. France is facing a similar problem, with their olives, wines and lavender under siege.   Not everyone is losing, though. A number of those migration patterns have led to more favourable circumstances for some: the Atlantic mackerel, for instance, has moved so far up north that it entered the Icelandic waters. Now, the country is enjoying a large share of the market previously held by Europe alone.   So we cannot really say that it is all bad. It is just changing - and requiring us to change and adapt along with it, good or bad as it may be. The point is that wildlife is, in fact, feeling the effects of climate change; impacting us humans in ways we are only starting to see the first motions of. Watch out for oak processionary caterpillars The oak processionary caterpillar has made headlines in The Netherlands in recent weeks. For an insect this small, it is rather surprising to see how quickly it has become the subject of a national crisis. It first set foot in the small European country in 1991, in the far south. Over the years, it has steadfastly increased its geographical range, with climate change nudging it further north-east. There are a lot of oak trees in the south of the Netherlands, which coincidentally make up its favourite snack. From mid-May to mid-July, this has prompted a rather strange sight: oak trees all wrapped in red-white warning tape. These trees are, in fact, infested with the oak processionary moth (or ‘eikenprocessierups’, as it is known locally). These are poisonous, capable of causing significant discomfort to humans and animals alike - its most prominent symptom being severe itching. The affected trees will find themselves being woven in silky nests surrounding their branches and trunks, which does not just occur in forest areas but also in densely populated areas, including those lining streets in cities and towns. Even if you avoid those trees altogether, you might still feel their literal sting: the caterpillar has bristles that can be fired when a threat is perceived, and which can be carried by the wind for up to 500 meters. Enough to affect those living around it. This only goes to show how a tiny species, previously unknown to an area, can start to dominate a defenceless ecosystem within some short decades. Half of All Life Is Moving The oak processionary crisis is not an exception. The general consensus is that species will move when facing a radical shift in their environment. It has been this way for centuries. Our ancestors already knew that they had to find different hunting grounds when seasons would change. So it is not necessarily surprising that species are moving or changing their range as climate change moves along. What is surprising, though, is its pace. Recently, an inventory was made of over 4,000 species all around the world. The results amazed friend and foe: over half of those were actively ‘on the move’. Land-living creatures are moving at 10 miles per decade, while marine species tend to move up to four times quicker. These are just averages. Some individual species are moving a lot faster. The Atlantic cod, for instance, moves more than 125 miles per decade. It is not just the physical location that is changing. The biological cycles are quick to follow suit as well. Amphibians, like frogs, have been found to be breeding about eight days earlier with each passing decade. Birds and butterflies are shifting their cycles in a similar fashion, with about four days per decade. Historical research has shown that in Concord, Massachusetts, plants are now flowering some 18 days earlier than they did in the 1850s.   While those might be too subtle to perceive, people all over - from Asia to Europe and over the Atlantic to America - are finding that springtime jumps upon us sooner than it used to, with trees and shrubs leafing out and animals initiating mating rituals earlier in the season. Something like this can change our ecology as a whole. Another striking conclusion is that we cannot possibly predict where this will lead us. Although we are able to connect the dots on the majority of changes, we cannot possibly predict all the ways in which species are to respond to the changing environment. Shifts occur at different paces and are triggered by different signals.   Some species respond favourably to rising temperatures, while others are more in tune with the change in sunlight or precipitation: Californian mountain plants have been observed moving downhill as climate change has brought more precipitation to the valleys. It is not just the existing species that are adapting to the changing circumstances. New hybrid species are developing as well: having already been found in toads, sharks, butterflies, bears and trout, just to name a few. Climate change is changing ecosystems and throwing species together that were previously kept separate, allowing them to interbreed.   Other species are put at risk of extinction, with them unable to find a good new ecosystem and/or their favourite food supplies having moved out of reach or dwindling altogether. In West Greenland, for instance, young caribou are dying in large numbers as their mothers are unable to eat sufficient plants during the calving season, leaving them weak and vulnerable. Bumblebees find that their favourite plants have already flowered before they emerge, leaving them scrambling to find their food supplies and unable to pollinate. In nature, timing is crucial - and these examples point out where exactly timing is threatening species in their very survival. Eventually, this will become visible on a larger scale - possibly even leaving us, humans, with shortages and ecological issues that cannot easily be resolved.   Some more animals threatened by climate change All in all, predictions have been made that by the year 2100, about 50% of all the species inhabiting our world could go extinct as the result of climate change - be it through one of the ways described above, or novel ways that we have not even began to observe just yet. Animals that may depend on us taking action today include bumblebees, whales, elephants, giraffes, insects, marine birds, sharks, coral reefs, butterflies and apes. All innocent victims of our lust for more energy and power, who will find themselves in a shrinking or polluted habitat with dwindling food supplies.   No matter where you live, you will undoubtedly find that the species that occupy your habitat are struggling as well; as are the farmers, who are dealing with pests, infected crops and other diseases affecting their businesses. Eventually, we will all suffer the consequences. The world has already been affected and will, if you were to travel 200 years in time, ultimately become utterly unrecognisable.   https://www.whatsorb.com/category/climate
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