Studies are showing that an increase in global temperatures will lead to an increase in extinction rates, and according to the publication in Science, results vary by region and species from 0 to 54%.
Areas like New Zealand, Australia, and South America are considered most at risk to large numbers of extinction, but globally 7.9% are predicted to become extinct. The percentage could be much higher given that most of the studies centered around North America and Europe, areas with low extinction rates, and not from areas more vulnerable. Limited mobility and adabtability in areas found on islands and with human landscape barriers are a large factor in survivability. If a species cannot move to a more habitable location, it’s chances of survival are limited, as thus, it’s extinction rate higher if temperatures continue to increase.
Increase in global temperatures from the predicted 2°C to just 3°C will result in an increase in the extinction numbers by approximately 3%. The good news is that global emissions of carbon dioxide from the energy sector stabilized in 2014. The International Energy Agency contributes this change to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) economies and China for converting carbon producing fossil fuels, primarily coal, to renewable sources, such as hydropower, solar and wind.
The “Paris 2015” climate summit to be held from November 30th to December 11th will be seeking to establish a legally binding agreement to prevent climate change.
Pictures of a few species currently under severe threat of extinction:
Sumatra has one of the richest biologically diverse habitats, but it is quickly losing that diversity. Many of it’s animals are listed under critically endangered. What can you do? Watch the video and start with one simple task.