Climate change could drive more than a quarter of land animals and plants into extinction, according to a major new study published in tomorrow’s edition of the journal Nature
The study estimates that climate change projected to take place between now and the year 2050 will place 15 to 37 percent of all species in several biodiversity-rich regions at risk of extinction. The scientists believe there is a high likelihood of extinctions due to climate change in other regions, as well.
Scientists studied six regions around the world representing 20 percent of the planet’s land area and projected the future distributions of 1,103 animal and plant species. Three different climate change scenarios were considered – minimal, mid-range and maximum, as was the ability of some species to successfully "disperse," or move to a different area, thus preventing climate change-induced extinction. The study used computer models to simulate the ways species’ ranges are expected to move in response to changing temperatures and climate. It represents the largest collaboration of scientists to ever study this problem.
Brad Phillips | EurekAlert!
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