Climate Change: Threatening Wildlife

(NBC News) One day after the Obama administration unveiled a bold new plan to combat climate change by cutting carbon pollution, Senators and scientists engaged in a heated debate on its impact.

Wildlife experts say they see the impacts of climate change first hand, while some scientists doubt there’s enough historical evidence to blame global warming for the weather disasters we’re seeing today.

Around the country are examples of environmental distress.

In Colorado devastating wildfires have been made worse by a bark beetle infestation.

“I’ve never seen anything like this, and it’s scary,” says South Fork resident Kim Krahn. “I’m very concerned for what it will do to the land.”

Warming ocean waters are ruining oyster habitats, while shorter winters are changing the migratory patterns of birds and even impacting the moose population, and drought is hurting the wheat farms in Kansas.

On Capitol Hill Tuesday Senators debated whether global warming is to blame.

During the hearing scientists and wildlife experts clashed about the impacts of climate change on fishing and farming.

“Our shell fish agriculture industry has already been significantly impacted,” claimed Daniel Cohen of the Atlantic Cape Fisheries.

But not everyone is convinced.

“The historical record does not warrant a claim that global warming will negatively impact agriculture,” testified Dr. David Legates of the University of Delaware.

In recent polls most Americans show concern, calling climate change “a serious problem facing the country.”

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