When we talk about climate change most of the time, we are talking about how the change in the environment is and will affect mankind. But it is not quite as simple as that, the survival of the natural fauna and flora has to be also in perfect balance otherwise the planet simply cannot function properly.
And it has been put forward that if the world does not immediately do something about this and allows the temperatures to rise above 4.5 Celsius, then we could lose over half of the plants and animals that live on Earth today. So, is it possible for the animals to adapt to this changing environment?
Relocate, Adapt, or Die
There are three main ways that animals can react to this potential catastrophe, they can relocate, adapt or become extinct. To alleviate the current danger many animals have already relocated to higher latitudes and elevations to find cooler environments.
But the rate that climate change is currently traveling at it all may happen too quick for many species to survive. Relocating is also not the answer in many cases, by moving into new areas and territories many animals would be fighting for the same food or having to get along with species that they were not naturally supposed to.
You Cant’s Outrun Some of the Impact
Even if a species could move and relocate to cooler areas there are some aspects of climate change that simply cannot be outrun. An example of this is migration, many animals take their cue to migrate from temperatures, and if the climate is warm where they are then they are late to migrate to newer pastures. So, the birth of new offspring is delayed.
As the warmer weather continues and the animals arrive late at their traditional migration habitats then they might be out of sync with the plants natural cycles and miss the nectar of the blooming period. Thus, the pollination of new plant species is also in grave danger.
Some Animals are Learning to Adapt
Some species seem to be learning to adapt faster than others to the changing positions. Some birds are laying their eggs earlier so that the offspring can take advantage of the blooming plants.
This also seems to be the case of coral reefs around the Pacific, some of the reefs around American Samoa had not bleached as many other reefs around the world had. They had seemed to find a way to adapt to living in warmer waters, and they have done this without genetically mutating.
Can Evolution be the Answer?
Scientists have been studying many species of animals to see how they are adapting to climate change, and they have noticed that some species such as weasels, foxes and hares have adapted their coat colors so in new environments they can blend in easier to avoid prey.
Without doubt the human race relies on the Earth’s biodiversity and a proper functioning ecosystem to survive. The growing concern is that the plant and animal species that cannot adapt and change could prove disastrous for mankind.