Around 8.7 million species of animals and plants have been discovered worldwide. While all of these species are important to the balance of ecosystems, the most influential animals include tigers, rhinos, whales, and marine turtles. According to the World Wildlife Fund, the survival of these species supports the survival of other species or offers the opportunity to protect whole landscapes or marine areas. Climate change causes global warming, which leads to warmer oceans, rising sea levels, and droughts, all of which alter animals' hibernation, migration, and breeding time. For example, the rising sea levels lead to marine turtles losing their nesting beaches, especially around the Caribbean. Another famous example is the melting of sea ice which has declined by 30% since 1979, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Not only does this reduce the amount of sunlight reflected into the atmosphere, but it has impacted the polar bears, seals, and walruses significantly since it has damaged their habitat. In addition, the rising temperatures may lead invasive species such as the mountain pine beetle and insects to infest our areas of living, according to the National Wildlife federation. These disruptions are reducing the population of animals; some are even expected to become extinct very soon.
The effects of climate change, a man-made disaster, are felt worldwide by all species. To combat climate change, we must reduce our carbon footprint individually and encourage and pressure businesses to do the same by voting with our money.