Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Global warming could have devastating effect on kangaroos

Global warming effect will have devastating effect on many animals, and kangaroos are no exception as it was showed in the latest study published in the December issue of Physiological and Biochemical Zoology. According to this study already a small increase of only a half degree Celsius may shrink kangaroos' geographic ranges, and the increase of two degrees would be devastating shrinking kangaroos' geographic ranges to almost 50 % (48% to be precise).

Increase in temperature will not directly affect animals, but their habitats, and the amount of water needed for their survival. Currently accepted climate models predict temperatures in northern Australia to be between 0.4 and two degrees warmer by 2030, and between two and six degrees warmer by 2070.

Even kangaroos are not fast enough to escape from global warming effects

Though kangaroos are very mobile animals even they would find hard time adapting to new changes, as there would be shortages both in food as well as the water once already dry seasons become even hotter. Less habitats on their disposal, less food and less water will likely cause their starvation and reproduction problems that could in the worst scenario even end up in kangaroo extinction by the end of the century, as there are some climate models predicting temperature increase by more than 6 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

Kangaroos are a national symbol of "land down under", and Australian government should put more emphasis to curb emissions, especially since Australia is among top five world emitters with no signs of slowing down its emissions. And as long as coal based energy sector remains dominant in Australia, emissions will rise, giving more negative impact to global warming. Future definitely doesn't look bright for kangaroo population in Australia.

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