A recent study has researchers fearing that one-sixth of all animal and plant species on Earth could be at risk of extinction due to climate change from greenhouse gas emissions. The threat is particularly prevalent in countries such as Australia, South America, and New Zealand, where smaller land areas make it difficult for animals to adjust or escape changes in temperature, as well as drought or flood frequencies. Furthermore, specific species can only be found in these countries.
Risk Of Extinction Due To Climate Change Determined Via Data
The study in-question compared data from 131 previously conducted studies focused on climate change. By doing so, scientists were able to come up with an approximate estimate of plant and animal species that could be at risk of extinction. According to the data, this number could be as high as 54%. The estimate, however, is based on the caveat that nothing will be done to slow down greenhouse gas emissions. At the current rate of progression, the temperature on Earth is expected to increase by more than four degrees Celsius by the year 2100.
Mark Urban, one of the lead researchers from the University of Connecticut’s Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department, was able to come to this conclusion after interpreting more than one hundred studies, along with several computer simulations, which reveal what would happen if this trend continues. His opinion is agreed upon by WWF conservation group member, Marco Lambertini, who believes that climate change will be the number one cause of species extinction.
A different study focused on marine animals also reveals the devastating outcome of human reliance on fossil fuels. Whales, seals and dolphins, which live in the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, as well as in the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean, face the highest risk of extinction due to climate change.
Humans often take for granted the beautiful world that surrounds us. Extinction due to climate change can be prevented once we learn to appreciate nature for what it provides: