Climate change hurts animals


Javin Smith, Photographer

There is plenty of evidence that humans have been harming animals for a long time. One of the really harmful things that has gotten worse only because of us is climate change and global warming, with all the factories or gas getting put out into the air 24/7. Among other things, unless we reduce the use of these things or find other ways to do everyday things with less pollution, climate change and global warming will get extraordinarily worse over the years to come. Expect for many of our well known animals and plants to become extinct.

Evidence shows that it takes about one million years for an animal to fully adapt to an environment, which leads me to think that climate change will get so bad so fast that most of the animals won’t be able to adapt fast enough. We humans have made many species of animals go extinct that would be roaming the world today. For example, back in 1507 sailors went to the island of Mauritius, bringing invasive species and diseases. The birds known as dodos, which were specialized and built for the island of Mauritius, weren’t able to adapt fast enough and ended up going extinct due to invasive species, hunting and other reasons. 

We still continue to do things like this all the time. For example, the frightening invasive species known as the Asian Tiger Mosquito, first introduced to Hawaii in the 1800s, spread to Europe, Africa, the Middle East and even the U.S all by 1995. 

We have caused the sea level to rise just a bit. But that little bit could have tragic consequences. A sea level of just 50cm could cause sea turtles to lose their nesting beaches. This would be terrible since over 30% of Caribbean beaches are used by turtles during the nesting season. The endangered Mediterranean Monk Seals need these beaches to raise their pups and a rise in sea level could damage shallow coastal areas used annually by whales and dolphins which need shallow, gentle waters in order to raise their small calves. This sudden change would be too much too fast for these poor animals to adapt, meaning that they would probably get driven to extinction. Especially the endangered species that depend on these beaches.

I also find it terribly sad that changing rain patterns have caused man-made dams to be erected, negatively affecting the migratory fish and mammals that annually migrate up river to breed and birth. It also affects water birds which rely on wetland sites for migration. We have also started to cause the atmosphere to start sucking moisture from the land at a greater rate than ever before, causing severe droughts in many countries, therefore creating a reduced crop production and major drinking water shortages.

Although there has been no evidence that a species has become extinct exclusively because of climate change, many migratory and non-migratory species are expected to become extinct in the near future. We need to do something.