Climate Change is Hurting Animals on Land and Sea, and We Need to Stop It

Climate change is, sadly, mostly our fault. While we feel and hear about the consequences every day, we often turn a blind eye to how our damage is hurting those who can’t speak for themselves. From the land to the sea, climate change is affecting all the animals on this planet.

Temperature Increases, Goat Body Size Decreases

According to Phys, research from Durham University suggests that climate change is real and has real consequences, such as making Alpine goats smaller. Researchers studied the goats, formally known as Alpine Chamois, for 30 years. Amazingly, the current goats are 25 percent smaller in body size than their counterparts of the same age in the 1980s. This shrinking trend is nothing new; many species are already getting smaller because of climate change.

However, this research is intriguing because of the magnitude and speed of this change. Researchers also noted that this change could negatively impact their survival. Over the course of 30 years, they found that the goats’ habitat became 3-4 degrees (Celsius) warmer. Usually, when the temperature changes, changes also occur with the food source and that correlates to changes in body size. Yet, the warmer weather didn’t affect the goats’ food.

The warmer weather started changing their behavior. When the weather is hotter, per habit, the goats will spend more time lounging around and resting. If they are resting more, then they are looking for food and grazing less. Their original size is what helped them survive freezing winters, so their survival is precarious.

The researchers suggest that similar behavioral and anatomical changes could occur in domestic livestock. Naturally, this could affect our agricultural sector.

Damage to Sea Turtles’ Eggs and Populations

Six species of sea turtles are already endangered, but increased sea levels from climate change are eroding the beaches where they lay their eggs. Warmer weather might be too hot to incubate the eggs and sand temperature determines the sex of the turtle, with warmer temperature producing females. In one species of turtle (the Loggerhead turtle), 90 percent of the population is already female; if things keep getting hotter, then there will be no males for the females to reproduce with.

Warmer Water Makes Breathing Difficult for Lobsters

Lobsters may look resilient, but they aren’t immune to the consequences of climate change. For cold-blooded animals like lobsters, higher temperatures mean that they have to expend more energy for simple things, like breathing. Temperatures above 69 degrees F make breathing so hard for lobsters that they can enter physiological stress. When so much energy is spent just trying to breathe, other important things, e.g. reproducing and looking for food, aren’t a priority.

How You Can Help Stop Climate Change

Stopping, or slowing down, climate change is going to take a massive effort. Luckily, there are simple steps we can all take. The David Suzuki Foundation has ten easy tips that we can all follow. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has more tips for inside and outside of the office. Do it for the innocent animals who are paying the price for our mistakes.

Photo Credit: Salva Barbera

131 comments

Jeanne R
Jeanne Rogers1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

SEND
Jeanne R
Jeanne Rogers1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

SEND
Jeanne R
Jeanne Rogers1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

SEND
Jeanne R
Jeanne Rogers1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

SEND
Jeanne R
Jeanne Rogers1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

SEND
Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 years ago

thanks for the article.

SEND
Mark Donners
Mark Donner4 years ago

John S. It does not put a comforting light on the situation to say that species that always existed but are just now being uncovered. It just means that ridiculous humans have not recorded them. There is no covering up that mankind is involved in causing the fastest rate of extinction that Earth has experienced. Nature does not engage in deforestation, destruction of global habitats, massive pollution of land and oceans, Nature doesn't spew tens of billions of tons of carbon dioxide of burned fossil fuels, causing global climate change in 200 years. That is overpopulated humanity engaged in a dedicated destruction of the Earth for greed. Species are disappearing 1000 times faster than before the virus called Mankind appeared on the scene. Too many humans damaging the planet. Without humans ruining habitat there would be 1000 times fewer extinctions.

SEND
John S.
John S.4 years ago

Another issue; where are the majority of the earth's life forms found? It for sure is not in the arctic, if you have never noticed and I have due to having lived above the arctic circle for 14 years.

"It must be remembered that as recently as the 1970s it was predicted that half of the species on the planet would become extinct."
“The poison dart frog Ranitomeya amazonica is one of more than 1,200 new species of plants and vertebrates discovered in the Amazon rain forest between 1999 and 2009, the international conservation group WWF announced Tuesday in a new report highlighting the region’s biodiversity.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/10/photogalleries/101027-amazon-species-wwf-bluetooth-tarantula-science-rainforest-pictures/
 
“NAGOYA, Aichi, Japan, October 26, 2010 (ENS) – At least 1,200 new species have been discovered in the Amazon ecosystem, at an average rate of one every three days during the decade from 1999 through 2009, the global conservation organization WWF revealed today in a new report.
This is a greater number of species than the combined total of new species found over a similar 10-year period in other areas of high biological diversity – including Borneo, the Congo Basin and the Eastern Himalayas, WWF said in the report, “Amazon Alive!: A Decade of Discoveries 1999-2009.”
Presented to delegates from 193 countries at the UN Convention on Biodiversity in Nagoya, the WWF report details the discov

SEND
John S.
John S.4 years ago

Another issue; where are the majority of the earth's life forms found? It for sure is not in the arctic, if you have never noticed and I have due to having lived above the arctic circle for 14 years.

"It must be remembered that as recently as the 1970s it was predicted that half of the species on the planet would become extinct."
“The poison dart frog Ranitomeya amazonica is one of more than 1,200 new species of plants and vertebrates discovered in the Amazon rain forest between 1999 and 2009, the international conservation group WWF announced Tuesday in a new report highlighting the region’s biodiversity.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/10/photogalleries/101027-amazon-species-wwf-bluetooth-tarantula-science-rainforest-pictures/
 
“NAGOYA, Aichi, Japan, October 26, 2010 (ENS) – At least 1,200 new species have been discovered in the Amazon ecosystem, at an average rate of one every three days during the decade from 1999 through 2009, the global conservation organization WWF revealed today in a new report.
This is a greater number of species than the combined total of new species found over a similar 10-year period in other areas of high biological diversity – including Borneo, the Congo Basin and the Eastern Himalayas, WWF said in the report, “Amazon Alive!: A Decade of Discoveries 1999-2009.”
Presented to delegates from 193 countries at the UN Convention on Biodiversity in Nagoya, the WWF report details the discov

SEND
Jonathan Harper
Jonathan Harper4 years ago

noted

SEND