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How does Global Warming affect Plants?

written by: AlyssaAst•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 7/30/2010

How does global warming affect plants? Well, the answer is simple. The effect of global warming on plants is caused by rising land and water temperatures. As a result, surface and underwater plant life is harmed.

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    How does global warming affect plants?

    Global warming harms all aspects of surface and underwater plant life. Plant life on earth is altered by the elevated temperatures caused by global warming. So, how does global warming affect plants? The answer is fairly simple. Higher temperatures and other climate changes decrease the amount of rain and water plants receive, as well as elevating sea temperatures. This can cause droughts and increases the risk for wild fires. The effect of global warming on plants is caused by numerous factors.

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    Plant Life

    “Air Perspective
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    What is the effect of global warming on plants?

    Plants can easily be affected by even a gradual increase in temperatures. Small shifts in climate changes can harm a number of plant species. The plants of the mountain and Polar Regions are especially at harm from global warming. As ice in these areas melt, the plants are endangered because the ground becomes warmer than the usual temperature the plants are accustom to. While some plants are able to adapt to the temperature changes, many are not able to do so.

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    Consequences for Plant Life

    Over the past decade, global warming has increased the number of forest fires, affecting numerous areas of the world. This is caused by record high temperatures and drought. In return, these fires add to the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

    As temperatures in regions begin to rise, plants are beginning to grow in other areas they are normally not found in. They are trying to adapt to the global warming changes. The growing seasons for many plants are becoming altered as the temperatures change. As the temperature changes, many plants and not capable of reproducing, causing many numbers of plant species to become limited. The same thing occurs with underwater plant life. The higher water temperature limits plants ability to thrive and reproduce.

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    Results of Global Warming

    As a result of all the changes caused by global warming, the risk of wild fires increases. Larger wild fires are being recorded, as well as more acres of land are burning. Droughts are beginning to effect areas that normally do not see drought. This causes many plants to not receive the water and nutrients they need to survive.

    If global warming continues, many growing seasons can become permanently changed. Precipitation patterns can begin to change, harming plant life. Heat waves can begin to last longer causing many plants to die. Frost days can also begin to last longer, harming a wide variety of plant species. Plants can begin to be threatened by a lager number of predatory insects.

    If the effect of global warming on plants continues, the food supply for many humans and animals can start to diminish from the harm done to plants. As the temperatures rise, more and more plant species will begin to be threatened. This will cause a chain reaction for all aspects of the planet.

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    “Understanding Climate Change" 2009

    “Will Global Warming Increase Plant Frost" Science Daily

    Photo: “Air Perspective" By Rolve stock.xchng