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Ecology is the study of living things and their environment. Therefore, as carbon emissions continue to rise in the atmosphere, mainly due to the combustion of fossils fuels, the Earth's average temperatures have been rising leading to global warming. As this occurs, polar ice caps and glaciers are melting at unprecedented rates. Organisms adapted to the colder climates have been struggling. For example, polar bears who need ice to hunt on are losing habitat. Sea levels are rising and this could lead to coastal flooding. Some coastal areas will eventually be below sea level and will disappear. The ecology of marshlands which perform vital ecosystem services will drastically be altered when they are washed away. Pollution affects all parts of Earth. Due to the Coriolis effect and the direction of winds blowing, pollution becomes a global problem and not a localized problem. Pollution can lead to poor air quality, this in turn can affect the harvest of producers, and negatively impact the respiratory systems of organisms as well as their immune systems. Water pollution means a vital resource may become scarce. Population explosions of humans in some parts of the world lead to poverty, pollution, disease and starvation. The planet is all tied together and these issues must be addressed globally if we are to survive on Earth.
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