Global Climate Change is Causing Biome Shift. We will discuss about the Biome shift and potential impacts on global ecosystem. Let’s learn in details.
Today we can witness a radical change in global climate and the alarming point is the rate is higher than we anticipated.
What is Biome Shift?
Biome is the distinct natural community of flora and fauna.Global warming is changing the structure, function and sensitivity of the ecosystems around the world. Long-term studies and experimental analysis clearly confirm that climate is changing along with the associated habitat of flora and fauna. Such substantial change in community composition is known as Shifting of Biome.
Impact on Plants
Let’s take the example of The Tibetan Plateau which in particular has witnessed significant warming through the last past 50 years and this warming pattern is increasing day by day. Such climate change would bring a vivid change in plant community structure and net primary production (NPP).
This gradual but continuous warming has produced higher grass abundance and lowered the precipitation level. The study also revealed the plants acquired deeper root systems which may have restructured plant communities to acquire more water from soil.
Global Climate change is also changing seasonal occurrence leading to early or late blooming of flowers. Thus affecting the pollination pattern and causing an adverse effect in fruit production.Leaves are changing their colors and leave dropping timing is also changed. The change of leave dropping timing is also effecting on leaf-eating insects like months, ants etc.
Impacts on Animals
Birds, insects and mammals are changing the timing of their pattern, direction and timing of their migrations. Recent Locust Swarm invasion in many countries is the example of Biome shifting in insects.
The animals which migrate between different biomes are facing negative impacts in their habitats,growth and breeding.
Some Noticeable Effects of Biome Shifts on The Planet
- The tropical region is getting bigger: Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn are the lines where the sun moves directly overhead in the December and June solstices. This expansion is making the equatorial region smaller. This phenomena is know as Tropic squeeze.
- The Sahara desert is getting bigger: The world’s largest desert ‘The Sahara’ is getting bigger in size.The scientists at the University of Maryland, revealed after long-term observation that the desert is stretching from both northward and southward. Thus the entire region enlarged about 10 percent in the time span between 1902 to 2013.
- The 100th meridian has shifted 140 miles east: The 100th meridian or the line passing through arid Western plains and eastern region of North America has experienced a shift. The Western plain has shifted towards the East.
- The wheat belt is pushing poleward: Wheat belt is the largest cropping belt in Australia.The climate change is causing reduction in rainfall in that area and also making that land warmer, effectively pushing the wheat belt towards south.
How to Protect Biomes
We can not undo the irreversible impact of the climate change, but there are some steps which can mitigate further degradation of Biomes.
- Protection of wetlands should be given maximum priority.
- Farmers and agricultural businesses organisation should come forward to improve the use of soil to get the optimum use of it.
- Planned and controlled burns to cleanse and rejuvenate grassland biomes.
- Restricting the construction of dams,roads,bridges and other human interventions to aquatic biomes.
- Rain water harvesting should be promoted from root level of the society.
- Educating people on sustainable methods to preserve environment.
- Should focus on proper implementation of Environmental Impact Assessment.
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by promoting fuel-less vehicles.
Widespread and continued global climate change is causing a pervasive and irreversible impacts on food and water security, local economies, and public health. Sensitivity and adaptive capacity of ecosystems are structurally being annihilated due to biome shifting and also it does not coincide with the superimposed climate oscillation, the Earth is currently experiencing. Biome Shift is redrawing the climate map across planet. Immediate and timely action from international communities is highly urged to avoid extinction of living beings in the long run.