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Mean temperatures are rising in many parts of the world. The resulting temperatures may result in physiological and ecological effects on living organisms. Describe and explain these effects.
The first 200 words of this essay...
Mean temperatures are rising in many parts of the world. The resulting temperatures may result in physiological and ecological effects on living organisms. Describe and explain these effects. (25 marks)
The almost undisputed effect of anthropic derived increase in global greenhouse gas emissions causing so called 'global warming' has indeed led to many increases in mean temperature records in recent years, with almost 5 of the top 10 hottest years on record occurring in the past decade. This in turn is having, and will continue to have, affects a wide spectrum of organisms, not only because it has the potential to affect an organism's biology/ physiology, but because changes to physiology coupled with newer environmental selection pressures will inevitably change a populations gene pool in turn changing their environment and ecological interactions with other organisms.
Let us begin by addressing the immediate physiological effects of an increase in mean temperature. Perhaps the most import aspect one should consider is the effect of temperature on the various metabolic pathways in living organisms, notably those involving enzymes. All organisms' enzymes have optimum temperatures at which they function best. Therefore whilst an increase in bodily temperature (a result of
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