What are the impacts of climate change on animals?
Whenever there is a change in an animal’s environment, there are a number of possible options for dealing with the change. One option is to move to a new area where the preferred environmental conditions can be found. If the climate in an area gets colder, for example, an animal species may be able to move closer to the equator in order to continue to live in its favored habitat. If moving to track a favored habitat is not possible, a species may be able to undergo biological evolution to adapt to the new environment. Biological evolution, however, depends on favorable mutations occurring, and this is a matter of chance. The process of biological evolution may also occur too slowly for new traits to evolve in time to deal with a changing environment. If neither of these two options — moving or evolving — works out, then the species may go extinct.