Climate Change Will Push One In Six Species Toward Extinction

Climate Change Will Push One In Six Species Toward Extinction

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A new study states that one in six Earth’s species may become extinct if immediate steps are not taken to curb climate change.

The study, which was conducted by the researchers from the University of Connecticut, and published in the Science journal, states that climate change could threaten a whopping one in six species on Earth with extinction if humans don’t start taking measures to cut down on the greenhouse gas emissions.

Mark C. Urban, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Connecticut, and the lead author of the study, said, “In our study, species were predicted to become extinct if their range fell below a minimum threshold.”

For their study, the researchers analyzed 131 biodiversity studies to see how the Earth’s warming temperature would affect extinction risks worldwide. After analyzing the results of all the studies, which included a variety of different species, geographic locations and modeling techniques, the researchers concluded that the climate change-induced extinction risks are not only growing with every degree the planet warms, but that the rates are actually speeding up.

The researchers calculated the extinction risks, or the percent of species on Earth facing extinction, for different warming scenarios. Their calculations found that global extinction risk will rise from its present value of 2.8% to 5.2% of species on Earth if global temperatures increase by those 2 degrees. At 3 degrees, the extinction risk rises to 8.5%.

The researchers added that different types of species had no significant differences in extinction risk. On the other hand, the risk did change according to region. They found that North America and Europe have the lowest risks, while South America, Australia and New Zealand have the highest. They also found that regions with small land masses mean species don’t have as much room to spread out and find better habitat if their homes become unsuitable.

“What this really suggests is we need to start building these next generation models that are going to incorporate important biological processes and try to understand how those processes might affect certain species,” added Urban.

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James Hailey a worshipper of life as it comes to him. He enjoys soft music while working on his latest manuscripts spread over his desk and his tablet on hand. His curiosity to observe everything around him and love for writing has propelled him to take up the job of a news journalist. Soon he realised, he enjoyed being at the back seat and editing all those news collected by others. He has been working as a lead news editor for both the digital and print media since the past 8 years. On his spare time he indulges in yoga to calm his hectic life style. He writes on Geology and Earth. Wmail : james@dailysciencejournal.com
  • Voodude

    No mention of the Polar Bear …

  • Voodude

    “At 3 degrees, the extinction risk rises to 8.5%.”

    What about 5 °C? How about 5°C warmer than the Holocene Climactic Optimum (which was warmer than now, by several °C) … The Polar Bear lived through that period … ”… polar bears have been a separate lineage from brown bears over at least the past 1–2 million years of the Pleistocene and Holocene epochs. This indicates that polar bears have survived several previous warm and cool geological periods as discussed by others (Hailer et al. 2012; Miller et al. 2012), which should be incorporated into models regarding the species’ response to future climate changes (e.g., Amstrup et al. 2008; Durner et al. 2009).”

    Cronin, Matthew A., et al. “Molecular phylogeny and SNP variation of polar bears (Ursus maritimus), brown bears (U. arctos), and black bears (U. americanus) derived from genome sequences.” Journal of Heredity (2014): est133.

    http://www.deltagenetics.com/uploads/1/3/3/9/13396868/jh_cronin_et_al_2014.pdf

  • Shootist

    One thing about it, the climate changes. Always.

    “The polar bears will be fine.” – Freeman Dyson