Global Warming

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Environmental Studies

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Global Warming

Global warming is the term used to describe a gradual increase in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere and its oceans, a change that is believed to be permanently changing the Earth's climate.

Scientists predict that global warming could contribute to the mass extinction of wild animals in the near future.An overheating world is creating a big change in climatic conditions and this can harm the delicate ecosystems in which species live. Threatened species can already be found all over the world - see the examples below.

INDIAExperts estimate there are as few as 3,200 tigers left in the wild, due to poaching, the loss of their habitat and depletion of the tiger’s natural prey. Hunters, traders and poor local residents use the forest for subsistence, directly competing with the tiger. Some of the largest remaining areas where tigers occur are the mangrove forests of India. The projected rise in sea levels could cause these living spaces of the tiger to vanish altogether. Read more about tigers

AUSTRALIAClimate change is affecting home range, abundance and breeding cycles of many of Australia’s frog species. Since frogs rely on water to breed, any reduction or change in rainfall could reduce frog reproduction. Higher temperatures contribute to the drying out of breeding pools, and as a result, to the deaths of tadpoles and eggs. Drier conditions also cause adult frogs to die, due to increased rates of internal water loss through their permeable skin.

AMERICAThe North Atlantic right whale is one of the most endangered of all large whales, with a long history of human exploitation. Since warming waters contain less plankton for whales to feed on, the availability of food due to climate fluctuations is also becoming an increasing cause of mortality. Between 300 and 350 individuals still exist, with little hope of population growth.


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