Readers will learn that as global temperatures continue to rise, ecosystems all over the world are at risk. Islands and mountains are among the most vulnerable, and many species are expected to go extinct. Polar regions are warming at close to twice the rate of the rest of the world, impacting marine and terrestrial life as well as global climate patterns.
Grades 4-7. This title in the new Climate Crisis series focuses on ecosystems, “a complex series of interactions between living and nonliving things,” and the great danger they face as global temperatures rise. After an introduction that defines terms such as biodiversity, endemic species, and conservationist, each chapter explores a different ecosystem, from the Arctic to mountains to biodiversity “hot spots,” or areas in which animal life is at risk in the tropics. In the Arctic, for instance, readers learn about the polar bear, “the poster animal for the ravages of climate change,” which needs sea ice in order to hunt seals, breed, and transport themselves. With an in-depth examination of not only the plight of animals but also plants, coral reefs, and much more, this is an eye-opening look at the scary reality our planet faces. Informative sidebars offer up specific case studies (such as how climate change will affect the lemurs native to Madagascar), and a final chapter discusses what can be done. How can the photos of beautiful animals not ignite a conservation spark in young readers?