Sunday, April 28, 2013


Wonderful For Earth Day Or Any Day!

Earth Day 2013 - ARKive's faces of climate change

Earth Day 2013 - ARKive's faces of climate change
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ARKive - a unique collection of thousands of videos, images and fact-files illustrating the world's species
Earth Day 2013 - ARKive's Faces of Climate Change

Today more than one billion people from around the world will take part in Earth Day, an annual event which celebrates our amazing planet and encourages people to take positive actions to protect it.

It is easy to think of climate change as a remote problem but the reality is that it is impacting people, places and species all over the world, and the numbers are increasing. The theme of Earth Day 2013 is 'The Face of Climate Change', which was chosen to highlight the increasing impacts of climate change on individuals around the world.This year to mark Earth Day we have selected our own 'Faces of Climate Change' in order to raise awareness about some of the many species affected by climate change.

ARKive's Faces of Climate Change 
Polar bear
Climate change is the biggest threat facing the polar bear, the world's largest living land carnivore. The polar bear is dependent on sea ice for its survival, but climate change is causing drastic reductions in the extent of ice cover across the Arctic region. This reduces the polar bear's access to prey, forcing them to spend more time on land and rely on stored fat reserves. Less food also means bears will give birth to fewer, smaller young.
Polar bear (c) Thomas D. Mangelsen / Images of Nature
Coral reefs
Climate change is already having measurable impacts on coral reefs worldwide.Coral bleaching, a process where corals lose their symbiotic algae due to the stress of being exposed to extreme temperatures, is becoming more frequent as the sea  temperatures rise.

Bleached coral (c) Georgette Douwma /
Climate change is also responsible for ocean acidification, a term used to describe the decrease in pH of the world's seas as more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is absorbed into the ocean. This increase in acidity reduces the ability of corals to build their limestone skeletons. Discover more about coral reefs and the threats they face on our Coral Reef Conservation topic page.
North Atlantic right whale
Despite its large size, the North Atlantic right whale has a relatively narrow diet, comprising of tiny planktonic prey. As sea temperatures increase and ocean currents are altered due to climate change, the prey of the North Atlantic right whale is likely to move location or reduce in quantity. This could have devastating consequences for the species, with the change in food availability already affecting the reproductive rates of this highly endangered whale. 

North Atlantic right whale (c) Francois Gohier /

Sea turtles
The gender of sea turtle hatchlings is determined by the temperature at which the eggs are incubated in the nest, with cooler temperatures producing more males and warmer temperatures more females. Increasing temperatures, due to climate change, will result in a disproportionate number of females in a given population. Sea turtle's nesting beaches are also at risk with rising sea levels and increased storm activity threatening the beaches.

Green turtle hatching (c) Roger Le Guen / Biosphoto
Golden toad
The extinction of the golden toad is thought to have been caused mainly by climate change and the disease chytridiomycosis.  Amphibians are sensitive to even small changes in temperature and moisture, with changes in global weather patterns altering breeding behaviour and affecting reproductive success. Climate induced changes in habitat may also decrease amphibians' immunity to disease, as well as increasing their sensitivity to chemical contaminants. Find out about what is being done to protect the world's amphibians with our amphibian conservation topic page.  

Golden toad (c) Richard K. La Val / AA /

Learn more about climate change

Learn more about climate change and the species affected with our climate change topic page. You can also test your knowledge with ARKive's Climate Change Quiz.

What's the World's Favourite Species? 
It's our 10th birthday on 20th May, and to celebrate we're searching for the World's Favourite Species. But we need your help. A shortlist of the top 50 species has been drawn up based on your nominations, and now you have until 8th May to cast your vote. The kakapo is in the lead so far... 

Kakapo (c) Mark Carwardine /
From looking at this fabulous shot, we can see why you love the quirky kakapo but is it your favourite? Vote now, and ask your friends to vote too, so that your favourite wins the title of World's Favourite Species

Vote now


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