Climate Change Impacts Local Fauna and Flora Myall Coast Port Stephens Port Stephens by News Of The Area - Modern Media - January 5, 2021 A loggerhead turtle, just one species under threat. LAST year was a year like no other. Bushfires, floods, cyclones, severe weather events and we live in a world that is losing species fast. Locally the most iconic species under threat, but there are other species that we simply don’t see. The ones living in our oceans are also impacted by climate change. So too is our local plantlife. The Great Barrier Reef is under threat, so too are our local environments. While we have seen an increase in the number of whales in our region other species like turtles are under threat. Lia Pereira of Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters and the Charity Sea Shelter which cares for injured sea life told News Of The Area, “The ocean has been playing a huge part in slowing down global climate change by removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere in large amounts. “However, ocean research shows that the CO2 absorbed by the ocean causing the ocean to become acidic, working as a sink in what is called ocean acidification. “This has already begun having mass negative effects on marine life that need calcium to create shells, particularly clams, mussels, coral reefs, and small sea snails, which are having difficulty creating and maintaining shells in increasingly acidic waters.” Ms Pereira said, “This is especially frightening for the tiny animals that support so many large ones like krill and plankton called terrapods who’s calcium structures have begun to dissolve. “Ocean acidification is just one of many issues impacting the ocean such as salinity changes, temperature changes and loss off the reflective ice cover. “Global action is urgently needed right now to turn it around for the ocean and planet Earth,” Ms Pereira said. By Marian SAMPSON A koala, the species is predicted to be extinct in the wild by 2050. Climate change has had a major impact on this species as it contributed to the Black Summer fires which decimated the species across Australia. Photo by Marian Sampson.