5 Ways Climate Change Affects Animals and How We Can Stop It

Source: Defenders of Wildlife


The Earth and its inhabitants—both human and non-human—depend on a livable climate. Climate change is already having major impacts on wildlife and their habitats, and these impacts are projected to significantly worsen. Unless we immediately act to reduce emissions and help wildlife and ecosystems adapt to the warming already in the pipeline, up to 60 percent of the world’s species may go extinct.  

Plants remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but the associated animals help maintain plant productivity, diversity, and resilience through pollination, seed dispersal, selective herbivory, pest control, and the enhancement of soil nutrient supply and organic carbon storage. Studies have shown that many wild animals, such as bison, prairie dogs, and wolves, exert outsized control of carbon sequestration by adding 15–250 percent more carbon in plants, soils and sediments compared to where they are absent. 

Plants and animals help balance levels of greenhouse gases that heat the Earth. With the help of wildlife, ecosystems can drive the fight against climate change.

Read more: 5 Ways Climate Change Affects Animals and How We Can Stop It