Global Warming Effects On Ecosystems

Jaan Suurkula, chairman of Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Application of Science and Technology, or PSRAST, in a discussion with journalist Anupa Shah reveals the dire condition of our ecosystem and the imminent direction we are headed towards. Suurkula's observations and conclusions, which were provided by established experts and institutions, reveal a vicious cycle whereby each environment problem aggravates other environmental problems.

Here is a quick glimpse into the future of our ecosystem 1:

  • Global heating rapidly increasing, according to a U.S. National Academy of Science warning.
  • Drastic increases in greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Ozone loss aggravated by global warming.
  • Loss in ozone will in turn exacerbate global warming.
  • Warming of the world's oceans, which leads to increased greenhouse gases.
  • Permafrost thawing will exacerbate global warming.
  • Oceanic changes may exacerbate global warming.
  • Massive extinction of animal species will further intensify the environmental crisis.
  • Instantaneous collapse of biological and ecological systems may occur, and will have slow recovery.

The effects of global warming can already be seen in the animal kingdom. Researcher Bill Fraser has been tracking the rapid decline of Adelie penguins that reside on Antarctica. In a 30-year time span, breeding pairs have been reduced from 32,000 to only 10,000. Additionally, some butterflies, foxes, and alpine plants have begun migrating further north into cooler climates. The spruce bark beetle is now thriving in Alaska, thanks to rising temperatures. The bark beetle has already chewed up over 4 million acres of spruce trees to date 2. There are many more examples of animal and plant species adapting to the changing state of the environment. Polar bears today are much thinner and less healthy than 20 years ago. Coral reefs globally are anticipated to increase by up to a third in size. Marmots are ending their hibernation three weeks earlier. Songbirds now consume leaves saturated with carbon dioxide rather than insects. Some plant species are beginning to thrive in environments that are warmer than before 3. The examples are too numerous to mention in this research. While we focus on the human effects of global warming, we cannot disregard the impact it has on local and global animal species.


1. Shah, Anup, "Climate Change and Global Warming Introduction," Global Issues, 26 December 2009. [source]

2. "Effects Of Global Warming," National Geographic. [source]

3. Than, Ker, "Animals And Plants Adapting To Climate Change," Live Science, 21 June 2005. [source]