Eighty percent of the ecological processes on Earth have been seen to change in order to adapt to the rise in temperatures.
The issue of climate change just took a harrowing turn with a new study that shows how temperature rises have affected every living thing on Earth as nature struggles to adapt.
Genes and ecosystems are changing in order to adapt to the temperature rises according to a study from the Wildlife Conservation Society. They say 80 percent of the 94 ecological processes that form the fundamental basis of optimal ecosystems on Earth are showing signs of distress due to the change.
Some of the outcomes to climate change are an increase in disease outbreaks, yields in agriculture decreasing and productivity of fisheries declining.
“There is now clear evidence that, with only a ~1oC of warming globally, very major impacts are already being felt. Genes are changing, species’ physiology and physical features such as body size are changing, species are rapidly moving to keep track of suitable climate space, and there are now signs of entire ecosystems under stress,” stated lead author of the study, and a conservation ecologist at the University of Florida, Brett Scheffers.
The study’s senior author, Dr. James Watson from the Wildlife Conservation Society and University of Queensland, also noted concern with the amount of change a relatively small increase in temperature has caused and calls for change from governments around the world.
“The level of change we have observed is quite astonishing considering we have only experienced a relatively small amount of climate change to date. It is no longer sensible to consider this a concern for the future. Policy makers and politicians must accept that if we don’t curb greenhouse gas emissions, an environmental catastrophe is likely.”
The positive outcome from this study is the ability to actually observe how nature is trying to adapt and hopefully be able to create ways in which these changes can be taken and used to fight the process of distress.
Details of the study were published in the journal Science.