National Wildlife Federation reports global warming detrimental to fish, habitats

Climate change is affecting fish and their habitats around the country, a new National Wildlife Federation report says.

Global warming causes more extreme droughts, storms, wildfires, and floods -- all of which can kill fish and shorter winters with less snow and ice cover can reduce stream flows throughout the year, the report said. All these problems exacerbate existing challenges for fish, like polluted water, invasive species, and habitat loss.

Researchers stress that water and land systems work together. For example, young, cut-over forests release snowmelt more quickly than older forests, contributing to flash floods and erosion.

The wildlife federation report calls for better efforts to restore and expand key habitats, attention to climate change in resource management, and a quicker shift to cleaner sources of energy.