Sustainable Living

Climate Change: It’s Impact on Animals

This week Caroline from Environline Blog shared about the impact on animals by human-induced climate change. She chose to feature a few specific animals and the section on corals impacted me.

About 20 years ago I spent several months in northern Australia. The Great Barrier Reef was not far from the town I lived in and it was very much a part of the collective consciousness. Tourists came to town to see the reef, and there was a research centre in town to study the diversity of marine life in the area. The very geography of the town was impacted by the teeming offshore reef as it blocked wave action and resulted in the calm beaches of the town. And this is true for the thousands of kilometers of reef off the coast of Australia and reefs around the world.

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impact on animals
Source: Canva

I find it upsetting to see the ongoing coral bleaching events, driven by climate change, that threaten the survival of these building blocks of life in the sea. What will be the impact on us all if they disappear? Alison wrote about this topic in our last response post here, as she explored the reasons and impact of our disconnection from the natural world.

Cork Yoga Mat

The recent How climate change impacts animals” post is a part of our Climate Change Collective series, through which a group of environmentally minded bloggers are trying to keep climate change at the top of people’s minds. In this series, one blogger writes a topical post and the Climate Change Collective participants write a response to their post, sharing thoughts or more information on the topic. Learn more about our Climate Change Collective at the end of this post and find our first in the series here: Climate Change Collective–What You Can Do.

Climate change impacts

Caroline’s post was thoughtful and impactful, and it left me wondering where I could go to find more information about some of the topics discussed. As such, I’ve shared a few resources below that I’ve been wanting to watch or read, or ones that stuck with me as a result of the information they provided.

What to watch

Chasing Coral: this is a documentary that explores why corals are disappearing and to be honest I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch it yet. It’s on my list to watch though! I used to love watching nature documentaries – I would marvel at the diversity of life, how it evolves to exist in an environment, the many and varied practices that animals adopt to thrive. Now it seems that most documentaries necessarily highlight the looming changes that all life on Earth will be facing as a result of ever-increasing climate change, and I find that I have to watch them with intentionality and ready to take some kind of action in response.

A Life on Our Planet: I found this documentary to substantiate so much that I had feared was occurring in the natural world as a result of climate change, including it’s impact on animals. It was jarring to see the changes in the environment that David Attenborough has witnessed in his lifetime, and it can’t help but make one wonder what life on Earth will look like in another 50 years if our activities remain unchecked.

Breaking Boundaries: I’ll say that the graphics in this one can feel a bit cheesy, but the notion that we’re breaking through planetary boundaries that may be irreversible is what I’ve feared but couldn’t put words to on my own.

Source: Stockholm Resilience Centre

This documentary breaks down the changes we’re seeing around us into different categories or “boundaries” of what will push Earth past it’s natural balancing ability. The loss of biodiversity that is being documented is moving Earth ever closer to a tipping point in the “biosphere integrity” boundary, with the results impacting our ability to survive and thrive.

While nations rally to reduce their carbon emissions, and try to adapt at-risk places to hotter conditions, there is an elephant in the room: for large portions of the world, local conditions are becoming too extreme and there is no way to adapt. People will have to move to survive.

Where We’ll End up Living as the Planet Burns, Time

What to read

  • Wombat Underground – This lead to a great discussion with my kids about the impacts of climate change on the animals in this book, and other animals around the world.
  • Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming by Paul Hawken – this book covers 100 ways to reduce our carbon footprint
  • United Nations Climate Action page: stay up to date on the latest information releases

Things to do (or not do!)

Alison and I did a series on “How your actions help the planet”, check it out here!

How do you reduce your carbon footprint?

Climate Change Collective
Photo Credit: Michelle at Boomer Eco Crusader

About the Climate Change Collective?

The Climate Change Collective was born out of an exchange that took place between Michelle and Jamie in the comments section of a Jamie Ad Stories blog post. Jamie and Michelle both care deeply about the impact of human activity on our planet and wanted to find a way to keep the climate change message top of mind for everyone. A tweet was sent out, bloggers responded, and we’ve all now teamed up to create the Climate Change Collective!

The idea is simple. The members of the collective will take turns writing a monthly blog post sharing their concerns and unique perspective about climate change. After the post is published, the rest of the group will keep the conversation going by sharing a link to the post on their blogs along with their thoughts and ideas. If you’re a like-minded blogger and would like to join our collective, please get in touch. The more the merrier!

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What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!