Animals and Crops Are Moving

Even small changes in temperature have important effects.  Not only do we see migration of animals and crops, we see significant loss of animals and plants to extinction.

We see it with crops, such as stone-fruits, like plums and apricots, that are not getting enough chilling hours from Australia to California.  Sugar maples that are producing sugar farther and farther north.  Birds are moving north and to cooler areas.  These are all indications of the changing climate.

Perhaps more worrisome, though, is the loss of biodiversity.  As stated by the Center for Biological Diversity,

“It’s frightening but true:  Our planet is now in the midst of its sixth mass extinction of plants and animals — the sixth wave of extinctions in the past half-billion years. We’re currently experiencing the worst spate of species die-offs since the loss of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Although extinction is a natural phenomenon, it occurs at a natural “background” rate of about one to five species per year. Scientists estimate we’re now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the background rate, with literally dozens going extinct every day. It could be a scary future indeed, with as many as 30 to 50 percent of all species possibly heading toward extinction by mid-century.”

And human health depends on biodiversity.  As eminent Harvard biology professor Edward O. Wilson once said about ants, “We need them to survive, but they don’t need us at all.”