From the official Earth Hour Blog this week…
25 April 2016: Often viewed as barren, we like to think the resilience of the desert is something to learn from.
In the absence of flora and fauna, we often think of deserts as a vast plain of inhabitable and harsh land, and while landscapes of these habitats often conjure up uninviting and barren images, that notion isn’t entirely accurate. Though lacking in water, deserts don’t lack life – shrubs, plants, animals and other organisms have reached a stage in their evolution that allows them to minimize water loss and survive in a habitat with little water. In fact, animal diversity in the desert is considered high – especially among reptile species.
However, hot and dry as they may be at present, climate change and rising temperatures could make deserts an even more uncomfortable place to live in in the future. Drinking water for a staggering 500 million people who live in deserts is either disappearing or becoming too scarce as snowpacks and glaciers that feed desert rivers melt. Coupled with a growth in population and unsustainable groundwater extraction, a greater strain will be placed on the precious resource.
But while the severity of climate change as a threat to our planet, habitats and wildlife grows everyday, it’s not too late for us to act now. More than anything, the resilience of these habitats is indeed an attribute we can all learn from in the movement to change climate change. Together, let’s work towards a better future 🙂