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7 Species Hit Hard by Climate Change—Including One That’s Already Extinct (by Christine Dell’Amore via National Geographic) : 

Polar bear — The large predator’s story is well known: The Arctic sea ice on which the animals hunt is progressively disappearing during the summer. Sea ice is forming later in the fall and disappearing earlier in the spring. “As the Arctic sea ice retreats, polar bears have to exploit alternative food sources, such as on land,” the scientists said, and some hungry polar bears have turned to goose eggs. But it’s not the best alternative, Steven Amstrup, chief scientist for Polar Bears International, noted in a previous story. “Some media reports have suggested that this might mean polar bears could just come ashore and eat terrestrial foods and somehow do fine without the sea ice,” Amstrup said. “We have absolutely no evidence that they have the ability to do this.” 
Orange-spotted filefish — The filefish dwells in coral reef habitats, on which it is totally dependent, and which themselves are declining in part due to climate change. In addition, the orange-spotted filefish is highly sensitive to warm water: The animal went extinct in Japan during an episode of warmer ocean temperatures in 1988. 
Quiver tree — This succulent tree is endemic to (and emblematic of) the arid west of South Africa and Namibia. Chapter Four of the fifth IPCC report shows, for the first time, that the rate of climate change can be just as important for species survival as the magnitude, and that trees are the most vulnerable to rapid change. A well-studied species, the quiver tree is unable to grow and disperse quickly enough to keep up with a fast-changing climate. 
Adélie penguin — These Antarctic birds mostly live on tiny crustaceans called krill. Krill live on the undersides of ice sheets, where they find refuge and algae as food. But as Antarctic sea ice retreats, krill populations are falling—meaning that the penguins have to migrate farther to find food. Spending a lot more energy to find food makes penguins less successful at breeding and raising young, the scientists said. 
North Atlantic cod — Overfishing has historically caused numbers of this fish to plunge, but its populations usually bounce back. Not so off the northeastern coast of North America, where populations have not recovered since crashing in the 1990s. “The entire ecosystem seems to have changed,” the scientists said, and “this may involve a climate influence due to changing ocean currents and the influx of cold Arctic waters.” 
Acropora cervicornis & coral worldwide — This reef-building animal is in decline almost everywhere, for a combination of reasons, including warming waters—coral are sensitive to changes in ocean temperature. Acropora cervicornis, for instance, used to be widespread in the Caribbean but is now restricted to a few small areas, likely due to warming. 
EXTINCT: Golden toad — Along with the Monteverde harlequin frog, also of Central America, the golden toad is among the very small number of species whose recent extinction has been attributed with medium confidence to climate change. Last seen in 1989, the golden frog lived in mountaintop cloud forests that have disappeared due to drought and other climatic changes. Other confounding factors are involved, such as the deadly chytrid fungus, which has killed off many amphibians worldwide. 
Read More | Photograph by Paul Souders


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