Causation of Climate Change
The world’s climate system is composed of five elements that include hydrosphere, lithosphere, atmosphere, cry sphere, and biosphere. It varies naturally with time and is dependent on the incoming and outgoing energy which determine the optimal balance of the earth’s energy. These determinants constitute factors that cause climate variation that result in either warmer or colder states. This result into a phenomenon referred to as climate change. This is a condition, in which, the earth experiences adjustments in its weather that occurs over a period. This essay provides a detailed analysis of the causes, characteristics, and the impacts of climate change in the social environment and biological systems.
Climate change is characterized by several signs that have resulted from the adjusting weather conditions. These include the upsurge in temperatures that cause global warming and acidification of the oceans, melting ice caps, and rising sea levels. This is the world’s a significant issue that has caused several and adverse effects on the environment. This has resulted in the increase of environmental risks faced by humans on the earth surface. The people act as the primary cause of this change and victims of the consequences that have resulted from global warming. This has made the future and productivity of planet earth to be at risk of the unknown. Several groups and individuals have given several opinions and ideas. Their opinions have, however, continued to differ and widen over time because they are not given a stake to give ideas on the issue. The natural scientists have made discoveries that environmental risks have increased significantly due to pollution.
The information and analysis of global warming provided in this essay will base on the view and perspective of a public policy maker. It will give a critical analysis of the climate change, the insight and understanding of other individuals and people. Global warming is a situation that results from excess accumulation of gases such as carbon (IV) oxide (CO2) and methane in the atmosphere in which they form a thickening blanket. This traps the sun rays and heat leading to a warming effect on the earth’s surface because of high temperatures experienced. Carbon (IV) oxide comes from burning fossil fuels: coal, oil and natural gas which are sources of energy. The warming of the air is further caused by carbon emitted from industries and other firms in the economic sector which overload the earth’s air (Mora et al. 2013).
Methane gas emitted from herbivores intestines and in the rice agricultural fields serves as a second air pollutant gas after carbon (IV) oxide. Deforestation has also been an important factor that has led to the changes experienced in the climate. The cutting of trees means that there is additional CO2 available in the surrounding which would have utilized by the trees that were destroyed. The use of chemical fertilizers in firms contributes to global warming because gases i.e. nitrogen oxide is released. These gases have high affinity for heat available in the atmosphere than even CO2. The nitrates cause harmful effects on human health if they contaminate ground water that is consumed by the people.
Adverse climatic changes have resulted because of man’s unnecessary activities, and; therefore, human beings are responsible for global warming that is being experienced today. The consequences that have emanated from this situation are several, and there is a need to address it. Rising temperatures have caused scorching days, and warm nights being experienced over the continents. Moreover, the warm environment has led to change in weather patterns; increase in droughts and bad storms. The melting of ice glaciers has resulted to increase in sea levels, which cause flooding, in nearby areas. This causes displacement of millions of people to find new homes. The occurrence of massive crop failures has also resulted because of varying temperatures that are required for farming. Floods have also destroyed plants leading to food shortages and famine. The other significant effect is the vast reduction of diverse species such as coral reefs from the earth surface because of their extinction.
Ocean Biogeochemistry is an ecological aspect which consists of methods that are applied to biological organisms in their ecosystem during the growth process. It also addresses their roles and interactions with other species in the aquatic environment. In addition, it expounds on the possible effects of climate change and global warming to the communities that live in the oceans as their habitat. Ocean biogeochemical changes arise due to factors such as an increase in the amount of atmospheric CO2, and changes in the salinity and water temperatures. The equilibrium properties of water sources are affected when gases such as carbon dioxide increase since it creates an acidic environment which decreases the amount of carbonate ion on the water surface. This results in negative adjustments in the ocean cycles that involve biological and physical activities (Mora et al. 2013).
Cascade through Marine Ecosystem
The Marine ecosystem is composed of a biodiversity of organisms that are found in aquatic ecosystems such as oceans and seas. These reserves have been negatively affected by the changes in the climate that have resulted in global warming. This is characterized by the rise in sea levels, bleaching of corals and modification of the precipitation and stream models. This has had an impact, therefore, of all plants and animals including mammals and planktons. There has been an 80% decrease in the number of Krill, for example, in accordance with the analysis made over a period of 30 years because of water pollution. The other significant impact is a reduction in the reproduction processes by turtles since the upsurge has damaged the coastal habitat in the sea heights (Mora et al. 2013).
Global warming experienced in northern latitudes is characterized by an increase in the ice-free periods and melting of glaciers on water surfaces. This has led to changes to occur in planktonic organisms such as in their structure, seasonality, production, and their food chains. The increase in the winter precipitation affects the Boreal Peatlands because drastic changes will be observed in the composition of both plant and animal species. Emission of harmful gasses causes Ocean warming into water ecosystems. This affects the stratification and ocean circulation thus leading to a deficit of oxygen concentration in the water that will show a decrease from 2%-4%. This hence causes deaths and reduction in the primary productivity of the aquatic biota by 2% to 20% since the gas is depleted. It also causes a decrease in upwelling, the increase in the frequency and height of waves, occurrences of diseases to the different species, and extreme weather events such as storms. The degree of these changes would be exceptional in the earth’s antiquity through the previous 20 million years.
A rise in the sea levels, in addition, has contributed to the extinction of aquatic mammals due to a decrease in the quantity of ice in the sea. Recent studies indicate that the density of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has doubled causing the temperatures to intensify by20C-30C. This leads to increase in temperatures of large water reserves such as lakes, seas, ponds, and oceans that could lead to drying of arctic bodies. The second effect is that an alteration occurs in the properties of water that are entitled hydrological events. This affects the physical and chemical characteristics of the water. These involve the reduction of carbonate ions on ocean surfaces and the decrease of the PH by over 0.2 units. Water temperature has a significant impact on several aquatic processes such as the behavior, life cycle, and physiology of the wetland organism. It is, therefore, an important environmental factor that determines their distribution and growth in an ecosystem.
Tropic cascades are phenomena that occur in an ecosystem whereby there are adjustments in the number of predators and prey in a food chain. The behavior and survival of preys are limited by the predators that lead to increasing in the number of organisms in the following food level.Tropic cascades are indirect interactions between organisms that control them in their ecosystems that result in changes in the structure, nutrient and population of the organisms. The increase of carnivores in a three-level food system, for example, results in the decrease of herbivores, and, therefore, a surplus of primary producers. Their decrease, on the other hand, cause a rise in the number of plant-eating animals and thus decline in plants and phytoplankton species. There are various adjustments in ecosystems that result from factors such as climatic changes such as ocean warming, and overfishing (Dybas 2006).
Trophic cascades occur in different plant and animal ecosystems because there is increased possibility that predators such as sharks, tuna, and mammals are removed from a food chain causing an imbalance in the food web. Reciprocaltropic interactions occur when organisms in the lower trophic influence those at higher levels. Plants are, for example, affecting the productivity of herbivores and thus it is referred to as bottom-up regulation. Predators could impose a top-down control on its prey except for other seasons. Buffalos and elephants for instance, have food limitations during dry periods because there is no growth of grass. The plant composition and productivity are dormant hence there is no top-down effect since the plants prevent the predators from acquiring food.
The Tropic cascades illustration of the time-series explains that diverse ecosystems can be irrepressible to the change in climate as termination of functions of species could lead to the protection of species that disappear as a result of weather changes. This indicates, therefore that an adjustment in the community composition is required in an ecosystem. This is in contrast to the evaluation performed on the empirical data on this suggestion that has supposed that, functional severance is reduced in the diverse ecosystems which are susceptible to instabilities.
Climate change has significant impacts on the existing ecosystem and its species because it induces pressure and shifts in their system. These consequences include the restructuring of their structures such as the size of the body, distribution, abundance, and the richness of the species. The other significant effect is characterized by the operation regime shifts that are functional and exist in those environments. These variations are determined by the changes that occur in the entire ecological unit.
Research and investigations have also indicated that the changes that are experienced in an ecosystem result from human activities and exploitation of the environment. This is induced by processes that have a direct influence on certain species and through indirect effects on composition and function of an ecosystem. There is also increased indications that explain the rise in cascading trophic relations in enormous aquatic ecosystems.
Patterns of Co-occurrence
An analysis explains the patterns of co-occurrence in an ecosystem of the biogeochemical projections. This was carried out basing on two substitute pathways that illustrate that there could be an increase in the amount of carbon dioxide to 550 and 900 ppm by 2100. This is in contrast to the concentrations that are experienced during the current period of industrialization. These values are at 400 and 280 ppm. The research also provides that the increasing level of CO2in the atmosphere poses a great impact in the world as indicated by the correlated parameters. It shows its continued emission result in damage to aquatic environments by influencing their physiological and chemical properties.
The patterns of co-occurrences in biogeochemical changes are identified by differentiating between adjustments that are negative from those that are positive. The adverse effects that result from the modification of marine biogeochemical processes include acidification, ocean warming and oxygen depletion. A reduction in the food production level by primary producers is also another consequence. Positive outcomes from this process are cooling, increase in productivity, high oxygen concentration, and basification. The values recorded for this research were given a scaling of between 0 and 1. 0 values imply that there was no change in the aquatic environment. While values of 1indicated that there was an absolute adjustment (Mora et al. 2013).
Vulnerability of Ocean’s Food Web
There has been an increase in fishing activities in the continental margins of the oceans that has had adverse impacts on the ecosystem. Ocean’s food web is also vulnerable to a rise in the level of C02 since it reduces the PH of the water. This will lead to decrease n population of marine organisms that include calcareous corals, benthos, and plankton species. The acidification of water sources has adverse effects on these species and the whole ocean ecosystem. A significant consequence of these processes is the breakdown of food webs that result from the loss of critical species in the water that aid in the creation of shells in the acidic environment. Organisms such as calcifying planktons, urchins, brittle stars, and squids are negatively influenced by the increase in water salinity. This is indicated by the decline in the number of predators that depend on these organisms for survival since they are at the base of the food chain (Mollmann et al. 2008).
Sea urchins are significant grazers that are responsible for the protection of coral reefs from being attacked by algae. Their roles are restricted, however, in acidified water environment since they become inactive. This is because acidic conditions force these organisms to develop protective shells that are thinner, smaller, slow, and misshaped. Marine fishes are also influenced by this situation because of the changes in chemical properties of the water that affect their larvae and eggs. The rise in the levels of carbon dioxide in the ocean has adverse outcomes on the behavior of fish. For example, they will exhibit characteristics such as the increased activeness, decreased reaction towards predators, and swimming towards insecure locations. Statistics indicates that the continuous rise in temperatures and acidity levels have lethal impacts for the different species such as the cardinal fish.
Ecosystem structure consists of biotic, interactions between organisms and a source of energy. It is composed of primary producers such as plants that produce energy through the process of photosynthesis. The energy produced is consumed by the consumers while the organic matter is decomposed into inorganic component by decomposers. The relationships that occur between the producers and consumers are referred to as trophic interactions. This constitutes the different food chains in the energy pyramid whereby, and the primary producers are situated at the base and then followed by the secondary and tertiary predators (Herr & Galland 2009).
Ecosystems are significant in the environment since they define the processes, functions, and the trophic levels of several organisms. They compare the amount of energy that is consumed by primary producers with their levels in an energy pyramid. These systems require quality and high energy that ensure effectiveness in their structure and function. This indicates that it is an open structure that needs solar energy that is crucial for internal and external movement by organisms (Herr & Galland 2009). This process referred to as biogeochemical cycling that is illustrated by the stream of matter within the biosphere. The biosphere also exchanges processes with the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and the atmosphere
Ecosystem regime shift
It is disputed that different ecosystems can be resistant to the changes in climate as termination in the functions of species allows the protection of organisms that could be lost due to changes in the weather. This implies that a change in community structure, different ecosystems may necessarily display condensed the functional termination and be predominantly susceptible to turbulences.
Despite the inability to predict the category and strength of biological responses to climate-induced, changes could apply pressure on species that will result in the reorganization of patterns. This includes changes in the body size, distribution, quantity, organism richness, and the regime shifts that are experienced in an ecosystem. Research indicates that the adjustments occurring in an ecosystem are also encouraged by human activities. This is through direct impact on the species and indirect effects on the composition and function of an ecosystem (Dybas, 2006).
Global warming and climate change have adverse effects on the ecological systems, human beings, and other biodiversities such as aquatic ecosystems. The continuous deterioration of the environment requires the quick response to minimize the effects of global warming in the future. This is because the lives of people, plants and animals are endangered because of the increasing damage caused by global warming. The society precisely should, therefore, embrace change and climate policies for the protection of the environment. The government should divert its economic resources to research of solutions to the deteriorating environment. The unity of all stakeholders to tackle and resolve this issue is significant. They are required to put and divert all their efforts into addressing climate change before it turns into an irreversible disaster.
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