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Life Sciences
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Impact of climate change on plant and animal communities within Australia and globally (Essay Sample)


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Assignment 2

Due date: 21st October 2010

Weight: 30%

Length: 1500 words

Topic/question: Discuss, with specific examples, the potential impact of climate change on plant

and animal communities within Australia and globally.

Learning Outcomes: 1-4; Graduate Attributes: 1,2,3,5 and 6


Learning Outcomes


1. demonstrate an appreciation of humanity's need to understand climate in the past,

present and future to plan for the future well-being of human societies;

2. demonstrate an understanding of methodologies for forecasting or predicting future

climate events from the past;

3. analyse and evaluate many planning issues arising from society's desire to control or

influence the future events of natural systems;

4. demonstrate an understanding of the evidence used in the arguments for 20th century

global warming and the economic, environmental and social policy implications both

locally and globally;

5. demonstrate a capacity for developing cogent arguments and

enhanced presentation skills;

6. apply enhanced skills in use of electronic data and information sources.

The paper critically examines using specific examples the potential impact of climate change on plants and animal community within Australia as well as other parts of the world. An understanding what of climate change is all about will be brought forth in the discussion. Additionally, the interaction of plant, animals and their environment will also be discussed in detail. The impact of climate change is well addressed by considering the ecosystem in question in two ways, before and after the climate change.
According to Andrewartha, 1954 all living organisms, this include plants and animals depend directly on climate that dictates the conditions under which they thrive best. Organisms will inhabit those regions that meet their habitat requirement which include food, cover, and breeding site among others.
The world’s climate has undergone over the years some significant temperature changes, warm and cool. Despite this fact, the present global warming is much more an unusual.
Unfortunately, drastic changes in climate as a result of human and natural causes have left these organisms (plants and animals) at a disadvantage as their habitat requirements are being continuously affected hence confining their distribution (Groombridge, 1992). Climate change has been documented to be the greatest challenge facing mankind at present.
It is no doubt that climate change negatively influences the earths living organisms-plants and animals. This has been clearly demonstrated by clearly seen species changes in their ranges as well as their ecosystem edges, changes in reproduction sequence and complexity in species interactions. It is worth mentioning that climate effect on plants and animals greatly varies between the various geographic realms, between ecosystems and individual species (Reid, 2006)
Climate change
Climate Change refers to the sudden change of the weather patterns. Climate is defined as the statistical distribution of weather over a definite period of time this ranges from centuries to millions of years (European Communities, 2009). Therefore, climate change is the changing distribution of the weather patterns that affects the normal weather distribution affecting the whole world or a specific region.
There are several causes of climate change (global warming) and are divided into two main categories; natural and human factors. Some natural causes of global warming includes the volcanic eruption, ocean currents, change in ultraviolet radiation, reflectivity, the wobbling of the earth, high solar intensity that keeps increasing, changes in solar systematic, change in galaxy positions and other factors that are as a result of human imposed factors.
Human activities also results to climate change which in turn affects the environment. Activities such as deforestation, burning of wastes, burning of fossil fuel, urbanization, use of chemicals, industr...
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