How is Wildlife Affected?
Ice Habitat Melting
Muir Glacier in Alaska is drastically melting (explained further in a previous page) due to climate change, but this isn't the only glacier experiencing this. Earthsky.org indicates that there are 19 bird species and 17 mammalian species travel to these glaciers and snow patches. Most of the time, it is to catch food that is in the glaciers.
There is wildlife, like polar bears, who depend on this kind of ice to live. If this ice melts, then the polar bears are losing their habitat. According to National Geographic, polar bears are STARVING due to this. These bears need sea ice to hunt for seals, which is 95% of their diet. They are suffering due to us.
Do you really think this is right?
We know by now that humans are releasing carbon dioxide into the air. Not all of it stays in the air, though. Some of it lands on the ground, but some of it goes into the ocean. What happens then? According to NOAA, one quarter of the carbon dioxide produced by fossil fuels ends up in the ocean. It's not just plastic in there. The ocean has taken up about 525 billion tons of carbon since the Industrial Era.
I guess we can thank the oceans for taking in extra carbon and slowing down global warming... right?
Yes, but even that has a price.
When carbon dioxide dissolves in seawater, the water then gets more acidic. You might be asking, "The oceans are huge. How can us miniscule humans affect the vast oceans like that?" In the past 200 years, the ocean has become 30% more acidic.
What's wrong with a little acidity? It affects ecosystems. The shells of some sea creatures are already dissolving. However, on the other hand, some life might adapt to this.
Some cultures rely only on fish to survive. What happens when the acid kills the majority of them? There will be too little to eat, and the humans will be starved.
Ocean acidification will also bleach coral that the ocean ecosystem depends on.
The whole ecosystem could collapse!