The Impact of Climate Change on Animal Behavior: The Arctic Marine and Monterey Bay Ecosystems
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Climate change impacts ecosystems all across the world and affects the entire biosphere. Although the effects of climate change have been well-researched, comparisons of its effect on animal behavior across ecosystems is lacking. To narrow this gap, this paper compared changing behavior of marine mammals in the Arctic marine ecosystem to the Monterey Bay ecosystem. The Arctic marine ecosystem provides habitat to thousands of species, including polar bears, seals, fish, whales, and many species of algae. The Monterey Bay ecosystem is a marine ecosystem located in Northern California, and it is home to hundreds of species of kelp, sea otters, seals, sea lions, seagulls and other animals. This research highlights the similarities and differences in select animals’ migration, predation, distribution, and reproductive behavior changes in response to climate change. This work focuses on species central to each ecosystem: sea otters, seals, and dolphins in Monterey Bay and polar bears, seals, and whales in the Arctic. By accounting for the effects of climate change on animal behavior, predictions were made based on the connection between the two ecosystems’ similar changing behavioral patterns. Through comparing the Arctic marine ecosystem and the Monterey Bay ecosystem, scientists can gain an in-depth comprehension of the changes in animal behavior as a result of climate change across wide geographies and suggest a new method of observing the impact of climate change globally to enable more accurate ecosystem predictions.