As the global temperature begins to climb, the trend of extinction will too. A little over a third of all aquatic (marine and freshwater) life is being threatened with extinction according to the National Resources Defense Council and the World Wildlife Fund. However, it doesn’t feel like much is changing to change this statistic.
As the temperature increases, droughts will and have become more common. These droughts often force animals to either migrate or die, and often migration will lead to death. Aquatic species are usually specialists, meaning they have more specific prey and habitat behaviors. This means that migration can end up harming these animals just as much. Aquatic species can also be broken up into marine species and freshwater species, both of which are affected about equally by climate change. These droughts also affect people, especially people who live by isolated areas of water. Droughts can be detrimental for a community’s available drinking water, but it can even go as far as starving communities out.
The increase in temperature also causes the water to get hotter. It absorbs a lot of our heat, our belts that take warm air and water to colder places and cold air and water to warmer places will begin to circulate differently, which will change weather patterns and predictability around the globe. Not just this, but the increase of water temperature causes aquatic life to drown. Many scientists have named this “boiling seas.” These animals drown because the temperatures get so high that oxygen cannot be stored efficiently in the ocean, which leads to drowning.
There were over 100 dolphins that died this week near the amazon river. The dolphins, which are called pink river dolphins due to their pinkish color, were found beaching at an extreme rate. Part of the problem is due to droughts affecting the Amazon and areas around it. However, the larger issue that scientists believe caused this was increasing river temperatures. The dolphins were in water that was like a hot jacuzzi, except they could not leave it. They were cooked in this water. It is not just the dolphins either, which helps rule out issues relating to diseases. Fish, dolphins, and aquatic plant life all have suffered due to the intense heat.
When will we decide enough is enough? How many species will have to die out for our selfishness to wean? How long will people continue to fervently deny what is happening right before our eyes? We have gone from politicizing opinions to politicizing facts, and it is deeply disappointing. Since we treat climate change like a political problem, we continue to ignore and avoid its objective, detrimental effects. I hope that for our future generations, we will decide to be selfless enough to act against these problems. However, since it is already a political issue, we need to hold our politicians and lawmakers accountable. Individuals cannot do much to prevent climate change, but if there was more legislation to allocate spending or hold huge corporations accountable, we may be able to slow down the effects of climate change.