Can somebody discuss the effect of climate change on the diversity of living things?

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kipling2448 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The effects of climate change on plant and animal life is enormous.  Plants and animals have evolved over millions of years, and have developed according to specific environmental conditions.  Once those conditions are changed, the ability of the plant and animal life to adapt determines whether they physically survive.  Not all can survive, and become extinct.

Extinction is caused both by environmental transformation and from human interaction with the environment through deforestation, over-hunting and fishing of certain species, and from agricultural practices incompatible with the underlying physical properties of the earth.  Specific to the effects of climate change, we can witness today the effects on certain species of marine life of changing ocean temperatures and levels of salinity, which are affected by the overuse or diversion of fresh-water tributaries that flow into the oceans.  On land, animal species become extinct when changing weather patterns adversely affect the growth of vegetation on which those animals depend for survival.  If rainfall becomes less or drastically more, it can kill off types of plants upon which animals feed.