The health of our natural ecosystems is vital to the survival of life on Earth. Humans benefit from ecosystems in a variety of ways, including recreation opportunities such as parks, gardens, and camping, the production of marketable products such as pharmaceuticals, and ecosystem services such as water purification and erosion control.
Several people place a high value on nature, wilderness, and the preservation of habitats for the sake of their own spiritual and aesthetic reasons.
Even though ecosystems play an increasingly important role in preserving the environment, they are becoming increasingly threatened by pollution and habitat destruction caused by growing human populations. In addition to these stresses, global climate change due to greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere poses a new threat.
Climate change will pose a very real threat to many of the terrestrial ecosystems on which we depend over the next century. Consequently, a number of key issues were arises, including:
- Temperature changes will cause plants and animals to change their distribution in terrestrial ecosystems as a result of climate change.
- The earth’s biodiversity is at risk due to both the amount and rate of global warming. If certain species cannot migrate rapidly enough to cope with the changing climate, they may face dwindling numbers and even extinction.
A warming climate will also shrink the area of cold conditions at upper latitudes and on mountains, which will endanger species that rely on those types of climates.
- Changes in climate will affect ecosystem composition and function, affecting species composition, energy flow and material flow.
It is inevitable that these changes will affect the variety and quantity of goods and services offered by ecosystems.
- The complexity of ecosystems makes them hard to model, and it’s not easy to predict exactly how species will respond to changing climates. It is therefore extremely difficult to mitigate, minimize, or ameliorate climate change-related effects on terrestrial ecosystems.
It is important that we support the conservation of biodiversity and the protection of natural ecosystems to allow nature to make the best possible adaptation to climate change.