Mar 21

To mark Climate Week (21-27 March 2011) we have launched new climate change pages where you can learn about the species that are being affected, read the facts, and find out what you can do to help. These pages have been created with support from Bank of America Merrill Lynch to help raise awareness of the plight of species being affected as a result of global climate change.

Photo of a polar bear jumping between ice flows
The polar bear is dependant on sea ice for its survival, but climate change is causing drastic reductions in the extent of ice cover across the Arctic region.

Global warming

Climate change refers to man-made changes in our climate. It is often also called ‘global warming’, as one of the most well-known effects of climate change is a steady rise in the Earth’s temperature.

Photo of emperor penguins entering water en masse
An increase of just 2°C would make some parts of the Antarctic Peninsula ice-free, with devastating effects on the emperor penguin which uses the sea ice platforms to breed.

Not just polar bears and penguins

Global climate change will affect species from all over the planet, not just those at the poles. Scientists predict that man-made climate change could contribute to a mass extinction of wildlife in the near future.

Photo of a koala feeding on eucalyptus leaves
Elevated carbon dioxide levels increase plant growth but reduce the protein levels and increase the amount of tannins in Eucalyptus leaves, causing possible malnutrition and starvation if koalas are not able to meet their nutritional demands.

Other effects include sea levels getting higher, and extreme weather events like hurricanes and droughts becoming more common. Many animals are struggling to survive as their habitat changes.

Photo of a female leatherback turtle at nesting site on beach
Turtles are at risk of rising sea levels and increases in storm activity, which will destroy their nesting habitat.
Photo of a quiver tree
Drought stress, the biggest threat to quiver trees, is caused by rising temperatures and decreasing rainfall patterns in the equatorial regions of its range.

How you can help

We can all help tackle climate change.

Here are some actions that you can take:

  • reducing, reusing and recycling products that you buy;
  • walk or take public transport where possible so that you use a car less often;
  • insulate your home better so that you do not need to use so much energy to heat it;
  • or simply spread the word and tell your friends and family about climate change and what they can do to help.

Although each action may be small, if many people make small changes it will add up to make a big difference.

View ARKive’s featured pages on climate change.

Browse a list of all ARKive’s species that are affected by climate change.