A warming climate means less Arctic ice and less opportunity for polar bears to hunt. A new study predicts that climate change could cause as many as one in six species to become extinct.
If present trends continue, a hotter world could spell the demise of 16% of the species alive today Even if temperatures rise only 2 degrees C above pre-industrial times, the global extinction risk will be 5.2% ‘Extinction risks from climate change are expected not only to increase but to accelerate,’ study warns About one in six species now alive on the planet could become extinct as a result of climate change, according to a study published in Friday’s edition of the journal Science. If present trends continue, the Earth’s temperature will wind up 4.3 degrees Celsius higher than it was before the onset of the industrial era. Should that scenario come to pass, as many as 16% of species around the world would be at risk of dying out, the study says. Author Mark Urban, an ecologist and evolutionary biologist at the University of Connecticut, based his calculation on a meta-analysis of 131 previous studies that made predictions about how multiple species would fare in a warmer world. Although the studies focused on different species in different parts of the world and used different modeling techniques to make their forecasts, Urban’s statistical methods found that none of those variables mattered as much as “the level of future climate change.” For instance, the current risk of global extinction is 2.8%, Urban wrote. But the hotter the Earth gets, the more that risk rises….