Climate Change Contributing To Biodiversity Loss In Australia’s Tropical Rainforests

1500 words - 6 pages

The Australian tropical rainforest is an important biodiversity hotspot to save. In a world dominated by humans, it is essential to preserve what helps keep us alive. The trees of the Australian tropical rain forest contribute to their environment by providing oxygen, climate amelioration, and supporting the wildlife. In an in-depth research done by Zachos, he found this information to be true. "One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people"(Zachos 319). These trees and plants are the source for many of the things that we use. Medical drugs, paper, and oxygen are just a few examples. Animals supply ...view middle of the document...

They are the last indication of an extensive ecosystem. This means there is a vast amount of creatures and plants. Given that, this biodiversity is declining significantly. One proven helping factor is climate change.
Climate change has emerged as one of the most important factors contributing to biodiversity loss in Australia. The result of climate change depends on the tropical rainforest and its biota, which is the plant life or animal of a specific region. It will increasingly become difficult for species to adapt to the changing climate, and the ecosystem will respond differently. It’s also leading to changes in food, habitat, and patterns. Native species will change locations. This could lead to a mixing in breeding, a change in growth, and competition. Researchers have shown the tropical rainforest is highly sensitive to climate change. It is determined by rainfall and its seasonality. Climate is impacting this area directly and indirectly. Direct impacts would be on the organisms. “There would be a noticeable physiological and behavioral change in the animals. Changes will also occur to the composition, structure, function and services of ecosystems” (Frank and Habel, 327). An example would be the species’ life cycle. The ecosystem is having changes in nutrient and natural resource supplies. Climate change is also intertwined with human activities. Examples would be habitat degradation and loss, pollution, and spread of pest species. In studies done by Frank and Habel, rainfall is predicted to decrease by ten percent, with an increase in dry seasons. “Australia’s tropical rainforest can expect a 1 degree Celsius warming by 2030 and as much as 2 degrees Celsius by 2070, together with more hot days with maximums over 35 degrees Celsius. Ecosystems will decline in the carbon they provide over the next fifty to one hundred years” (qtd. Krockenberger et al 2004; Crimp et al 2004). Climate change is increasingly becoming more of a concern.
The trees can control climate by reducing the effects of the rain, wind, and sun. They also provide the forest with a sense of protection from dangerous winds. The tropical rain forest is able to protect us from a harsh downfall of rain and hail. Greenhouse gases heat intensity is being moderated by the forest. It is able to maintain low levels of carbon dioxide. The leaves are able to keep the forest cool in the summertime by absorbing the sun's radiant energy. All of this becomes threatened when climate begins to arise. As a result, the tropical rainforest is having changes in the environment. Areas that have been affected are rises in CO2 concentrations, precipitation, and temperature. The species in the forest have been affected by the structure of their communities and the functioning of the ecosystem. They are also indirectly affected by processes like fires. The animals are also changing their behavior in response to the climate. For example, they are altering the time in which they are most...

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