Our world is continuously changing, and not only for us humans but also for the animal kingdom. Global warming and climate change are affecting everything around us, including birds and their behavior and patterns. In this article, we will discuss the climate change impact on birds in our world.
There are many things we can do; however, it may be too late to change some of the effects that it has already had for these birds. Some scientists and bird specialists have already seen irreversible changes and have and will change the way birds live on this planet of ours.
To understand this more, let’s first talk about climate change and global warming to fully understand what is happening to our planet. We then will relate it to how this affects birds of different species and how we are all connected.
What is Climate Change and Global Warming?
Climate change is the change in weather patterns, including related changes in oceans, land surfaces, and ice sheets. This occurs over time scales of decades or even longer.
It is the change in the climate system’s statistical properties that persists for decades and maybe longer. It could be due to natural processes such as the change in the sun’s radiation, volcano eruptions, or internal variability that we have no control over. It can also be caused by human influences such as changes in the composition of the atmosphere or land use.
Global warming is the change in temperature of the earth for an extended period of time, say 50 years. The global temperature has increased at the fastest rate in recorded history. All the experts say that the trend is even accelerating. Nasa has recorded global temperatures for 134 years and the 125 hottest temperatures have occurred from the year 2000 and onwards.
It is real and it is happening. Many have tried to deny this and have claimed a pause or a slowdown in rising global temperatures. A published study in 2015 disproves this claim. Unless we cut global-warming emissions, average global temperatures will increase to 10 degrees Fahrenheit in the next century.
Why it matters to birds?
Global warming and climate change are serious matters. As many would try to disprove, the birds say otherwise. Birds are the natural alarms when something big and environmental is going to happen or is already happening. Many scientists have recorded bird behavior in recent years, proving that global warming and climate change are happening.
Birds are affected by global warming in many different ways. They lose their habitats as the world heats up. Birds in North America could lose their ideal habitats by the year 2080. With the loss of ideal habitats, birds could also lose their food source and shelter. If they find a new home, it will be difficult as it is not certain if an adequate food source is available.
For penguins, and other birds such as puffins, that live in the colder regions of the globe, ice and snow loss are very significant. If things go the way they are predicted, more than half of Antarctica’s Emperor Penguins will be wiped out due to the melting of ice.
Birds are already highly adapted to the climate, vegetation, and habitat types they have. If anything changes, with the rapid change of climate, they might not be able to adapt to the new world they will face in a few years. This will lead to the extinction of many bird species.
What’s happening now?
Today, many scientists are recording changes in migration schedules, reproduction, hatching, and nesting of many types of birds. Global warming and climate change have already had an alarming impact on these birds. We might not feel it as much but these birds can and they know what is coming.
Birds migrate to avoid the change in weather to find other places they could get the proper food source to provide them with the nutrition they need to survive. When they migrate, they know exactly where to go to survive. As the world heats up and changes to adapt to the temperatures, many birds are already losing the food source and shelter that they need to survive.
Birds are not the only animals feeling this, but 80% of plant and animal ecosystems have already changed. Ecosystems are essential because this is how we all survive, humans included.
Can’t birds just adjust?
Birds try to adapt to the fastest rate of warming ever recorded but it is just too fast. The rate of increase in temperature is already 10x faster than it is than the ice age.
As humans, we are also part of why their way of living is changing. As we grow and urbanize more places on our planet, many of these birds are losing their habitats due to trees’ cutting down. These trees we use for our ecosystems are some of the homes of these birds.
I’m not saying we should completely stop, but consider ways to still give them shelter and the proper food source for them to survive, but more on that later. This is just not happening around the United States, but it is happening globally.
What can we do to help?
Stopping climate change is not easy. According to some reports, even if we globally stop all greenhouse gasses emissions, we would still be feeling the effect of global warming from many years of emissions.
Deforestation is one of the top reasons that birds are losing many of their homes and shelters. We all know that that is where they build their nests and reproduce. If we keep this up, there will be no space left for them to stay and eventually make certain birds extinct.
We could create or build artificial homes and nesting sites for these birds so that they could still reproduce properly to repopulate their species.
Birds have helped us indicate environmental changes for many, many years. They are now predicting that climate change is happening and that gears are changing many of these birds’ ecosystems. It completely changes the way that they live, including their migration schedules, reproduction, and nesting.
Several new published research findings say that the birds are experiencing the brunt of the early signs of global warming and climate change. Birds are losing food sources, habitats and trying their best, but it is just not enough. They need our help.
The bird’s ecosystem’s loss will bring down our own ecosystem and many other animal and plant kingdoms’ ecosystems. It is time for us to help these birds out to help our continually warming planet.