Climate change effects
Week 2

Placed by Shaveta Mehta 2020/Oct/11


Even if we don’t see a melting glacier down the street we will still see big changes close to home. Among all the planets only earth has sign for life and plants are considered as key organisms for constituting life on earth. Plants are the autotrophs, they are capable to synthesize organic compounds with the use of simple inorganic molecules. These organic compounds treated as food by heterotrophic organisms (which cannot produce their own food) or by plant itself. The energy generated by plant via Photosynthesis is the driver of life on the earth. Climate change is very multifaceted phenomenon facing all of us. It involves many disciplines beyond science such as society, economics, politics and most importantly moral and ethical issues, climatic fluctuations are global problem, but arise and experience from small scale. Medicinal and aromatic plants are less immune to the climate change as compare to the other living organisms. According to recent study published in Journal Nature Climate Change, Climate change could lead to the globally widespread loss plants occurred around the world. This study collected data of 50,000 common species plants as well as animals. They concluded that more than half of the plants would be get affected till 2080 due to continuously rise in greenhouse gas emissions. Plant growth and its development is strongly dependent upon the temperature, each species has an optimum or specific temperature range to survive and flourish in a particular environment.

Plants react much more sensitively to fluctuations in temperature than animals. They are also unable to seek out warmer or cooler locations. "When temperatures rise, plants grow taller in order to cool themselves off. Their stalks become taller and their leaves become narrower and grow farther apart. Yet, this makes the plant more unstable overall, This is noticeable, for example, during grain harvesting. Unstable plants bend faster in the rain and generally produce less biomass. There is also a reduction in the proportion of key substances, like proteins, that can be stored in the grain kernel.

Effects of climate change

  • Changes in climate and weather may force species to migrate to new areas. There is ample evidence already of species’ ranges shifting as a result of changing conditions. Those that cannot escape their newly inhospitable surroundings (trees or species confined to mountain-tops and small islands are obvious examples) or adapt are likely to die off.
  • Because species depend on each other for survival, individual extinctions and shifting ranges have a much wider knock-on effect, upsetting the delicate balance of our natural world. In a worst-case scenario, we could see food webs and ecosystems collapse completely.
  • Changes in climate can threaten native species, as invasive ones (both predators and competitors) expand into their range, and may also create ideal conditions for disease outbreaks.
  • Species that are already threatened (e.g. those hunted to the brink of extinction, or confined to a few remaining pockets of habitat) and those that are highly sensitive to environmental change are particularly vulnerable to the extreme events, invasive species, disease outbreaks and further habitat loss resulting from climate change.

In addition, biodiversity is also exposed to the secondary, human-driven impacts of a changing climate., in the shape of displaced communities and changing behavior in response to lower crop yields (such as agricultural expansion and increased reliance on wild resources).

Climate change has its impact on human lifestyle too. It threatens our health by affecting the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the weather we experience.

  • As our globe warms, glaciers melt and ocean water expands, leading seas to rise about 7 to 8 inches on average since 1900 – about 3 inches of that since 1993. The added volume of water creeping up coastlines slowly swallows land, homes, and fuels more flooding inland. This has an impact on human lifestyle as it disrupts the infrastructure and housing and city planning of an area. 
  • The same CO2 accumulating in our atmosphere thanks to fossil fuels is actually changing the composition of fruits and vegetables that we eat, making them less nutritious. Extra CO2 is speeding up photosynthesis and causing plants to grow with more sugar and less calcium, protein, zinc, and important vitamins.


- Amira Brar, Hrishita Mahajan, Ishani Patil - Grade 11

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