Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Climate Change Threatens Survival of Thousands of Species in Our Lifetime

An alarming study finds at 4.5 degrees warming, the world’s most biologically diverse ecosystems could witness extinction of half their plant and animal species.

The unique animals and plants on Madagascar like this Verreaux's sifaka, a type of lemur, face a changing climate that could make parts of their island unsuitable for many species. (Credit: Martina Lippuner/WWF) Click to Enlarge.
Without action to stave off climate change, up to half of the plant and animal species in some of the world's most biologically diverse ecosystems could become locally extinct by the end of the century, according to a new report.

Imagine coastal East Africa missing seven out of 10 amphibians, six out of 10 birds and more than half of its mammals.

Or the Amazon missing two-thirds of every kind of species living there today.

If the world's countries can achieve the goals of the Paris climate agreement, that picture changes, according the study, released late Tuesday in the journal Climatic Change.  The Paris Agreement calls for reducing global warming emissions enough to have a reasonable chance of keeping warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

"If you reduce the global temperature rise from 4.5 degrees to 2 degrees, instead of having almost half of the species being potentially lost from each grid cell we studied, that reduces to a quarter," said lead author Rachel Warren.

Read more at Climate Change Threatens Survival of Thousands of Species in Our Lifetime

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