Climate change, as it is known today, affects all living creatures on planet Earth, benefiting some, but devastating others. From marine mammals to land flora, there are disturbances in virtually every ecosystem which must be embraced or overcome for some species to remain a part of this living world. Through analysis and observation, Discovery News explains the fruitful advantage some animals and insects have gained.
The Argus Butterfly was once considered a rare species until temperatures in the climate increased to a prominent level, enabling this particular insect to reproduce. This butterfly is found throughout Europe, North Africa, Russia, and Northern parts of the Asian continent.
Another organism that has reaped rewards from the shifts in the environment is the Albatross bird. Wind patterns have increased due to the climate change providing this bird easier flights and longer travel to places food sources are present. The end result is a healthier species with an increased chance of mating and reproduction. This shift in wind behavior has been documented in a study by Jennifer A. Francis, and Stephen J. Vavrus. Geophysical Research Letters Volume 39, Issue 6, March 2012
The Australian Gray Nurse Shark is another example of a species taking advantage of what many deem a disaster. Discovery News reports this species was previously expected to become extinct by the year 2050. It is now that the waters surrounding the continent of Australia have warmed, that these sharks are able to reunite with secluded groups of their family which were previously separated by walls of cold waters.
Though these animals, along with a few others, have benefited from the climate change, this possible change in climate (said to be influenced by human behavior) might have a negative effect on the prey species (whichever they may be) and vegetation, as there will be an increase in the harvesting and hunting of such. Two examples of this are the beluga whales, and narwhals. These two species are preyed upon by the Orca whale, which is named to be one of the beneficiaries of the climate change. Because of this, the Narwhal eventually might be facing extinction (a pre-established concern), and perhaps, this problem will come sooner than later. Facing a fight for survival against predators and harsh weather, there is unnecessary challenge most species on Earth, along with humans, have to face.
There are not many more species reported to benefit from what many claim to be a “man-made” climate change, but there is a bounty of species at risk of extinction for this same reason. The New York Times writer, Henry Fountain, reports there is an ill-effect upon an already vulnerable species of penguin. Magellanic Penguins, to be precise, are able to live in both warm and cold temperatures, making South America shores a comfortable habitat. And unfortunately, Fountain brings up a study by P. Dee Boersma and Ginger A. Rebstock : Climate Change Increases Reproductive Failure in Magellanic Penguins; the young birds often see their end before ever experiencing a full season. For example, in two selected years under the study, rainfall killed up to 50 percent of the young birds (chicks).
Climate change benefits several species on this earth, but with the astronomical effects from such a crisis as this, many if not all species are left with challenges spanning from daily discomfort to pure survival.
by Lindsey Alexander