Climate Change and Evolution Essay

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Climate Change and Evolution

The ecological consequences of global climate change are expected to be drastic although not much is known as to how individual species will react to these changes. Irrespective of the causes of climate change, whether anthropogenic or natural, it is imperative that we address these concerns, as they will have widespread impacts on the human species, both directly and indirectly through forcings on other species. The climate is not expected to shift evenly and the ways in which certain species adapt or migrate due to these changes could be erratic and unpredictable. The rate at which the earth’s climate is currently changing is unprecedented and has not been seen in the past 450,000 years. Although many
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The species’ main food source, ringed seals, which live on the ice of Hudson Bay are becoming increasingly inaccessible due to earlier ice melts. "We're wrong if we think that climate change is something that will happen far off in the future. Polar bears are starving now and we need to act now to stop climate change," said Kevin Jardine, Greenpeace climate impacts specialist. A recent study by Canadian polar bear researchers showed that the species have less time to hunt during the season and are forced to return to land undernourished. The study reports a decline in weight of both male and female bears as well as a noticeable decline in offspring. As the Hudson Bay bears fast for six to eight months out of the year, sustaining themselves on nourishment from the hunting season, they are increasingly unable to survive the rest of the year due to limited food resources. Polar bears are not the only species currently under stress form a warming climate however.

Masses of orange-and-black Monarch butterflies that travel on a 3,000-mile annual migration from the United States and Canada covered an area of 42 acres two years ago. Now, however, the butterflies that winter in the area cover a mere 13.5 acres. Monarch butterflies are very sensitive to climate change; the smallest temperature change can have drastic impacts on their populations. Monarchs have developed various adaptations in order to avoid being caught and eaten by predators.
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