Climate hit great white sharks are on the prowl for cooler waters. Photo by Gerald Schömbs on Unsplash

By Orik Ehren, age 15

Climate change is one of the most intimidating beasts that humanity has ever faced. Its multifaceted nature combined with a lack of human attention results in a force that spells the demise of an ignorant race and the species with which it shares the Earth. Humanity’s animal co-tenants will suffer due to our negligence, which results in pollution and the subsequent inability to control the effect it has on the environment.

The global extinction rate of all species is up to 10,000 times its natural state due to unchecked human interference. These extinctions can produce an “extinction domino effect” in which less tolerant species are driven to extinction due to artificial and extreme changes in their habitats, cumulatively resulting in the extinction of much more resilient species. The removal of these species leads to a fragile and unbalanced ecosystem, inevitably causing further immense repercussions on the system and its constituents.

New research conducted by Monterey Bay Aquarium in California has discovered that warming oceans have led to a mass migration of white sharks into the area, some moving as far as 373 miles north. “These sharks—by venturing into territory where they have not historically been found—are telling us how the ocean is being affected by climate change,” said Monterey Bay Aquarium chief scientist Dr. Kyle Van Houtan in a press release. The number of sea otters in the Monterey Bay area has dropped by 86% since 2014 as a direct result of this migration. Scientists predict this migration will be followed by a large quantity of aqueous fauna seeking less warm, more natural waters.

As a result of human interference—manifesting itself in warmer oceans, unregulated hunting, pollution and general irresponsibility—oceanic life, such as great whites, is being disrupted. With enough time and enough ecosystems destroyed, this disruption may have the capability to impact humans the same way humans have impacted their resident planet.

 

Glossary

Multifaceted: Having many different parts
Repercussion: A widespread, indirect, or unexpected effect of something said or done
Aqueous: Made of, by, or with water