Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wildlife and Climate Change (plus a giveaway!)

We've all seen pictures or video of polar bears desperate and stranded on melting ice floes in the arctic (so I won’t put up another heartbreaking photo) but the truth is that those images are just the tip of the (pardon the pun) iceberg.

In this map, provided by, you can clearly see the melting pattern.

Currently 20,000 species disappear each year and if extinciton continues at its current rate, more than HALF of all species on earth today will be extinct by the end of the 21st century.

California sea otter (c) Tania Larson

That means one species is responsible for the fate of millions of other species. According to one study, global warming will threaten 15 – 37 percent of terrestrial species by the year 2050. Javan rhino

Birds are often the first animals to react to climate change-- their health tells scientists important information about the water and air in their habitat. Sadly, of 10,000 species of birds alive today, 1,200 are threatened with extinction.
Hawaiian Crow

Some scientists have had government officials ask them to deny, minimize or discount evidence of human-induced global warming, but 84 percent believe it exists.
Iberian Lynx

Even a one degree change in average water temperature can trigger an overgrowth of fungus or parasites that threaten endangered wildlife.

Jeff Corwin's new book 100 Heartbeats: The Race to Save the Earth's Most Endangered Species has lots more info about our ecosystem crisis. As he points out, some species have been saved by just a handful of dedicated people.

AND NOW THE GIVEAWAY: An autographed copy of this book will go to a commentor picked at random -deadline will be midnight on Saturday night, Oct. 17.

Today's post is part of Blog Action Day -this year raising awareness about climate change.


tina said...

This is a really nice post and timely. The morning news shows were just talking about an area of the ocean that used to be frozen solid in the winter but is now not frozen and will not freeze. They were saying how now the water will absorb the sun's heat faster and global warming will speed up. Such a concern for sure. I had no idea so many animals disappear so quickly.

azplantlady said...

Thank you for putting this in very clear language that people can understand. It is so sad to see what negative effects that humans have on the world.

Lzyjo said...

OMG! The ice map is really shocking! It's sad to think how fast the problem is escalating. There are some many other threats facing the animals, this may just be the straw that broke the camel's back! Thank you for the chance to enter your generous giveaway!

Wendy McDonagh-Valentine said...

Thank you for the eye-opening post. It's so sad it had to be written, though, isn't it?

Also, thanks for telling Melanie about my blog. I truly love reading blogs written by people who live in my community. If you ever stumble across anyone else from this area, please let me know and I'll do the same for you. Have a wonderful day!! :)

~ Wendy

tut-tut said...

And there are still people who believe not a word of it. unbelievable.

Joanne said...

It is so sad to think of any of the beautiful animals you've posted here as being extinct. Yet the environmental changes are undeniable. The internet/blogs are a wonderful way to shine the spotlight on the global warming issue, what a great post!

June said...

My heart has been heavy with my own observations of climate change. Seeing the map only deepens my worst fears. Thank you for speaking clearly and taking action with your blog. We all must act.

Anonymous said...

Good work! And thanks for the info on Blob Action Day - - it got me to post on a climate change map I saw about IL - we'll be as hot as Texas by the end of the century if we don't reduce emissions.

scary stuff - when will people wake up!

Anonymous said...

The same, infinitely