Global warming, scientists say, is responsible not only for shrinking ice caps but also for a surge in extreme weather that is causing heat waves, wildfires, and droughts, not to mention sea level rise.

Researchers agree that even small changes in temperature are enough to threaten hundreds of already struggling animals. Up to half of the animal and plant species in the world’s most naturally rich areas, such as the Amazon and Galapagos, could face extinction by the turn of the century due to climate change, according to a study published in the journal Climate Change. From polar bears in the Artic to marine turtles off the coast of Africa, our planet’s diversity of life is at risk from the changing climate, even as that is not the only risk.

The key impact of global warming on wildlife is habitat disruption, in which ecosystems—places where animals have spent millions of years adapting—rapidly transform in response to climate change, reducing their ability to adjust. Habitat disruptions (mainly deforestation) are often due to changes in temperature and water availability, which affect the native vegetation and the animals that feed on it. Loss of wetlands, sea level rise, invasive species and disease are all also implicated.



Beyond Extinction: A New Emphasis on Species Recovery

The Sumatran rhino, the smallest, shaggiest, and most endangered of the world’s five rhinoceros species, is found only on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Borneo.

More than 38,500 speciesare threatened with extinction

Indigenous and Local Knowledge (ILK) has been developed over centuries or millennia by indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) and is continuously evolving. It provides a unique and rich source of information on biodiversity. There…


Albatrosses, known for monogamy, may be pushed to ‘divorce’ because of climate change, study finds

By Miriam Berger  Photo: Bob Peyton/US Fish and Wildlife Service/AP   11/24/21  
“It is a truth universally acknowledged,” Jane Austen wrote in the opening lines of “Pride and Prejudice,” “that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Social…

Scientists Searching For Way To Save Bay Scallops From Climate Change Threat

By Michael Wright   11/17/21  
As the East End mopes its way through a third-straight disastrous bay scallop season — desperate scallop lovers are forking over upwards of $45 per pound for cousins of the Peconic Bay scallop, imported from…

Ivory-billed woodpecker officially declared extinct, along with 22 other species

By Dino Grandoni  Photo: Auscape/Universal Images Group/Getty Images   09/29/21  
The “Lord God Bird” is dead. The ivory-billed woodpecker, a ghostly bird whose long-rumored survival in the bottomland swamps of the South has haunted seekers for generations, will be officially declared extinct by U.S. officials…

California’s disappearing salmon

By Scott Wilson  Photo: Melina Mara   09/13/21  
For centuries, spring-run Chinook salmon, among California’s most iconic fish, would rest for weeks in these historically cold waters after their brutal upstream journey. Then they would lay eggs and, finally, perish to complete one…

California builds a ‘Noah’s Ark’ to protect wildlife from extinction by fire and heat

By Louis Sahagún  Photo: Gary Coronado   08/18/21  
It was just before sunrise in July when the botanists Naomi Fraga and Maria Jesus threw on backpacks and crunched their way across a brittle alkaline flat in the hottest corner of the Mojave Desert.…

Why Whales Are Important For Carbon Sequestration

By Francesco Bassetti   08/22/20  
Killing the world’s largest animal grew into a global trade in the sixteenth century when Basque whalers developed important technological improvements that allowed for commercial whaling. Since then whales have been driven to the brink…