Global warming is deeply impacting the lives of thousands of creatures living on our blue planet.
Global warming is shrinking their habitats, putting many species at risk of extinction.
In the face of this merciless enemy created by the human species, there seems to be a lack of effort to find a solution from humans themselves. Measures are not being taken swiftly.
According to the Living Planet Report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), different regions of the world have experienced varying degrees of biodiversity loss. The most significant decline in terms of population loss was observed in tropical areas. The report states that between 1970 and 2018, Europe and Central Asia experienced a population decline of 18%, North America 20%, Asia and the Pacific 55%, Africa 66%, and Latin America and the Caribbean 94%.
WWF’s Director of Conservation, Dr. Sedat Kalem, stated that human-induced climate crisis is causing mass deaths and complete extinction of certain species while altering the natural structure of the world. He mentioned that the losses occur at a rate of one-tenth of the degree of temperature increase. According to data from 2022, Dr. Kalem pointed out that vertebrate populations have declined by 69% in less than 50 years. In other words, he emphasized that two-thirds of vertebrate populations have vanished in a timeframe shorter than the average human lifespan.
Everyone is saying that global warming threatens life on Earth, but very few precautions are being taken. In our world, where living conditions are increasingly challenging, there is a horrifying example that demonstrates the threat of extinction to living beings.
Kalem stated that the dimensions and impacts of the climate crisis vary at the local level, highlighting that some species are better adapted to the warming climate than others, and certain habitats are deteriorating more rapidly than others. He continued by saying, “When looked at on a habitat-specific basis, the sharpest population decline worldwide, with an 83% sharp decrease, is observed in freshwater species.”
While the mass death of flamingo chicks observed when the waters of Lake Tuz receded in 2021 is still fresh in memory, the critically endangered species such as the Ferruginous Duck can no longer be found in Burdur Lake, which has experienced significant water loss due to drought. Moreover, compared to the global average, the temperature in the Mediterranean region is rising 20% faster, which is impacting marine mammals the most.
Kalem stated that green turtles and loggerhead turtles in the Mediterranean are under threat, and sea turtles are affected by climate change in two ways. “Firstly, the temperature of the sand where turtles lay their eggs affects the gender of the hatchlings. Typically, male hatchlings emerge from eggs in the lower, cooler part of the nest,” he said.
Kalem emphasized that the increase in temperatures can result in only female hatchlings emerging from the eggs or, in extreme cases, no hatchlings surviving when the temperature exceeds a certain threshold. “Female turtles can adjust the depth of the nest to mitigate this situation, but it is uncertain whether this will be enough to compensate for the damage caused by the heated sand,” he said.
Secondly, Kalem stated that the climate crisis leads to rising sea levels, higher storm surges, and extreme weather events. “These factors can result in the alteration or damage of turtle nesting areas, which are already dwindling and in a vulnerable state. In areas where reproduction becomes unsustainable, it can lead to the loss of local populations,” he said.
source Haber Global