Global warming may bring mass species loss

April 11, 2006

A study by U.S. and Canadian scientists confirms earlier dire predictions of species loss, concluding global warming could spark mass species extinctions.

The study by scientists from the University of Toronto, the University of New England, the U.S. Forest Service, the Worldwide Fund for Nature, and Conservation International expands on a 2004 paper that suggested a quarter of the world's species would be committed to extinction by 2050 as a result of global warming.

The new study confirms that conclusion.

"Climate change is rapidly becoming the most serious (threat) to the planet's biodiversity," said lead author Jay Malcolm, an assistant forestry professor at the University of Toronto. "This study provides even stronger scientific evidence that global warming will result in catastrophic species loss across the planet."

The research is one of the first attempts to assess the potential effects of climate change on terrestrial biodiversity on a global scale. Scientists looked specifically at the effect climate change would have on 25 of the 34 globally outstanding "biodiversity hotspots" -- areas containing a large number of species unique to those regions alone, yet facing enormous threats.

The study appears in the journal Conservation Biology.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Researchers compare biodiversity trends with the stock market

Related Stories

Global habitat loss still rampant across much of the Earth

December 6, 2016

As 196 signatory nations of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) meet this week in Cancun, Mexico, to discuss their progress towards averting the current biodiversity crisis, researchers from a range of universities ...

Spread by trade and climate, bugs butcher America's forests

December 7, 2016

In a towering forest of centuries-old eastern hemlocks, it's easy to miss one of the tree's nemeses. No larger than a speck of pepper, the Hemlock woolly adelgid spends its life on the underside of needles sucking sap, eventually ...

Recommended for you

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.