Climate Change: Heatwave in Australia impacting lives of flora and fauna

March 4, 2019 6:33 PM |

Affect of Climate Change on Flora and Fauna

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed that December 2018 was the hottest one since 1910, and January was the hottest month ever recorded. The country has warmed by more than 1°C since 1910 and the temperatures would continue to rise.

People have been heading towards beach whereas others are taking refuge in air-conditioned buildings to escape Australia’s unmatched weeks-long heatwave this summer.

On the contrary, such was not the case with the ecosystem, they couldn’t find any escape from such glaring heat waves.

A 2018 study led by Hoffmann when pulled together in total eight case studies showed how aspects of climate change like extreme heat, changes to rainfall and drought were working together to devastate ecosystems.

The damage caused by climate change mostly goes unnoticed and major issues caused by heatwaves can go undetected for years. Professor Bill Laurance, cited a case of the rare white lemuroid ringtail possum. These species were heard missing, and the Professor tried to find one in North Queensland. The possums cannot survive for more than a few hours if temperature goes beyond 30°C. Professor also mentioned that animals have a temperature threshold and if it crosses above that and that too because of severe heatwaves, then they start to die.

Such silent crisis is happening everywhere around us. If such things go unnoticed, then few years down the line frogs and plants and such organisms would die off. Heatwave is considered to cause intense damage when they arrive on top of other stressors like habitats, drought, disease and fire. Ecologists are concerned by the speed of changes in the climate and how normally adaptable species are failing to keep up.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

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