Most of us with a green thumb worry about the little things wrecking havoc on our plants — the neighbourhood children, pesky insects, pets. But how will large-scale changes to our environment, influenced by global warming, effect the health of our gardens? If climate change continues at this pace, we’ll be subjected to droughts, heat waves, floods, an influx of destructive pests, and, worst of all, the complete extinction of species that help to keep our gardens healthy. So how can you prepare for and protect against global warming? Read on to find out.
Cyanobacteria, which fertilize our
plants, live in soil. There are two kinds — one that exists in cooler weather,
the other, in warmer. As global warming persists, the cooler cyanobacteria will
be overtaken (some way within the next fifty years) by the warmer option. Plus,
the loss of any form of cyanobacteria means decreased fertility in soil and,
worse still, increased erosion. Plus, the lack of certain nutrients will make a
better home for more invasive plants and weeds, which could destroy nearly
anything in your garden.
In a recent examination of over 50,000 plants, researchers on climate change discovered that, due to the lack of food and water caused by greenhouse gas emissions and global warming, by 2080 over half the plants and a third of the animals could face significant losses in their range and, most likely, populations. Other studies suggest that up to one in every six species will face extinction if climate change continues as it has been.
What You Can Do
While the subject is an intimidating one, there are things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint and to protect your garden from the effects of global warming and climate change. Change can begin indoors — replace your lightbulbs with more energy efficient ones, and look into purchasing solar-powered panels. Look for electrically, not gasoline, powered tools, and consider composting your waste to cut down on harmful methane emissions.
In terms of your garden specifically, it’s a great idea to start by clearing out any potentially invasive plants. Be ruthless and check your garden for such invaders frequently. Also, be sure to monitor the amount of water required to keep your garden in shape, and consider using alternatives like mulch, rain barrels, and drip irrigation — all of which can provide your garden with the water it needs without taking such a toll on the environment. (Rain gardens are another, more complicated, alternative.) Consider getting your garden redesigned by a professional, newer water features and greener landscaping techniques are available and can be proposed to you by a local landscaper.
Finally, the best thing you can do for your garden is to plant a tree! They absorb Carbon Dioxide, which is one of the biggest harbingers of global warming.
Global warming is a real threat, but individual citizens can take action that will help to significantly alter the pace and impact of climate change.