Apr 22
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ARKive’s Faces of Climate Change – Earth Day 2013

The Face of Climate Change

Today more than one billion people from around the world will take part in Earth Day, an annual event which celebrates our amazing planet and encourages people to take positive actions to protect it.

It is easy to think of climate change as a remote problem but the reality is it is impacting people, places and species all over the world, and the numbers are increasing. The theme of Earth Day 2013 is ‘The Face of Climate Change’, which was chosen to highlight the increasing impacts of climate change on individuals around the world.

This year to mark Earth Day we have selected our own ‘Faces of Climate Change’ in order to raise awareness about some of the many species affected by climate change.

ARKive’s Faces of Climate Change

To mark Earth Day 2013 here at the ARKive office we have selected our own Faces of Climate Change.

Polar bear

Climate change is the biggest threat facing the polar bear

The polar bear is dependent on sea ice to hunt, breed and rest but climate change is causing drastic reductions in the extent of ice coverage across the Arctic region. This reduces the polar bear’s access to prey, forcing them to spend more time on land and rely on stored fat reserves.

Coral Reef

Coral bleaching is increasing due to rising sea temperatures

Climate change is one of the greatest threats to coral reefs. Coral bleaching, a process where corals lose their symbiotic algae due to the stress of being exposed to extreme temperatures, is becoming more frequent as the sea temperatures rise. Bleached coral are unable to obtain enough nutrients so begin to starve. To find out more visit ARKive’s coral reef conservation page.

Koalas

Climate change is likely to affect the amount of nutrients koalas get from eucalyptus

Climate change could affect the amount of nutrients koalas obtain from eucalyptus, their main food source, as higher carbon dioxide levels reduce the protein levels and increase the amount of tannins in the leaves of eucalyptus.

North Atlantic Right Whale

Climate change is likely to have an affect on the abundance of the North Atlantic right whale’s prey

Increases in sea temperatures and changes in ocean currents is likely to cause the planktonic prey of the North Atlantic right whale to move location or reduce in abundance, having potentially devastating consequences for this already highly endangered species.

Atlantic Salmon

Increasing water temperatures could affect the developmental rate of juvenile Atlantic salmon

The Atlantic salmon’s developmental rate is directly related to water temperature. Therefore it is possible that increasing water temperatures could result in more rapidly developing juveniles entering the ocean before their planktonic food source has reached sufficiently high levels.

Arctic Fox

The tundra habitat of the Arctic fox is changing due to climate change

Climate change is turning the tundra, the habitat of the Arctic fox, into boreal forest as new plants are beginning to colonise the area. This change in habitat is causing a decline in the Arctic fox’s prey species and allows the red fox, a competitor, to move into the area.

Golden Toad

Climate change and chytridiomycosis are thought to be responsible for the extinction of the golden toad

The extinction of the golden toad is thought to have been caused mainly by climate change and the disease chytridiomycosis.  Amphibians are sensitive to even small changes in temperature and moisture, with changes in global weather patterns altering breeding behaviour and affecting reproductive success. Find out about what is being done to protect the world’s amphibians with our amphibian conservation topic page

Sea turtles

Climate change could lead to a disproportionate number of females in sea turtle populations

The gender of sea turtle hatchlings is determined by the temperature at which the eggs are incubated in the nest, with cooler temperatures producing more males and warmer temperatures more females. Increasing temperatures, due to climate change, will result in a disproportionate number of females in a given population.

To find out more about climate change visit ARKive’s climate change topic page. You can also test your knowledge with ARKive’s Climate Change Quiz.

Jemma Pealing, Media Researcher

Apr 22
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ARKive Celebrates (an artistic) Earth Day!

As you can probably tell, all of us here at ARKive are pretty much enamored with stunning, eye-catching and inspiring media art. From impactful photography to gripping wildlife film clips, imagery continues to play a powerful role in sparking and sustaining people’s interest in the natural world.

Earth Day sets the stage beautifully for appreciating art in nature and famed artist, Maya Lin, has captured the past and future of conservation in her final memorial titled, “What is Missing?”, a global, multimedia art project centered around our living planet. ARKive worked with Maya Lin, who is well known for designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in the US, to secure a selection of emotive images and films for the memorial which is both a permanent exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences and a traveling exhibit featured in New York, Beijing, and Copenhagen. Maya hopes the newest addition to the memorial, called “Conservation in Action”, conveys a message that, “spurs people to realize their power to connect with work that is under way and take steps in their everyday lives, no matter how small.”

Inspired by Earth Day and “What is Missing?”, we had a look through the ARKive collection for our favorite artistically-inspired images and there are plenty to be found!

Reflections

The sunrise paints a colorful canvas for the Curlew sandpipers breakfast

Curlew sandpipers feeding at sunrise

A mother’s love

A peaceful moment captured between a mother and baby bonobo

Adult and infant bonobo sleeping

Underwater gold

Fluorescent grass coral waves like shimmering gold in the ocean

Fluoresence grass coral open polyps

A pop of color

A floral pop of fuchsia sets of the stunning blue matrona

Matrona basilaris on a plant

 A different perspective

Focusing on a single detail, like a peacock grouper eye, can create a stunning portrait

Peacock grouper eye detail, captive

After seeing this small set of images, it’s pretty hard not to find beauty and art all around nature! Which of these is your favorite? Is there another picture on ARKive that you think embodies art in nature? Share it with us in the comments below!

Happy Earth Day!

Liana Vitali, ARKive Science, Education and Outreach Officer

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