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: Failing fisheries and poor ocean health starving human food supply

Related Stories

Saving the last groups of wild Sumatran rhinoceros

September 16, 2015

Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Wildlife Conservation Society's (WCS) Indonesia Program carried out an island-wide survey of the last wild population of Sumatran rhinoceros, and now recommend ...

Understanding reef systems at the genetic level

September 8, 2015

(—Coral reefs are the most diverse marine ecosystems, biodiversity hotspots now under anthropogenic threat from climate change, ocean acidification and pollution. Efforts are underway to protect and expand shrinking ...

Recommended for you

Horn of Africa drying ever faster as climate warms

October 9, 2015

The Horn of Africa has become increasingly arid in sync with the global and regional warming of the last century and at a rate unprecedented in the last 2,000 years, according to new research led by a University of Arizona ...

Scientists paint quantum electronics with beams of light

October 9, 2015

A team of scientists from the University of Chicago and the Pennsylvania State University have accidentally discovered a new way of using light to draw and erase quantum-mechanical circuits in a unique class of materials ...

What are white holes?

October 9, 2015

Black holes are created when stars die catastrophically in a supernova. So what in the universe is a white hole?

How to prepare for Mars? NASA consults Navy sub force

October 5, 2015

As NASA contemplates a manned voyage to Mars and the effects missions deeper into space could have on astronauts, it's tapping research from another outfit with experience sending people to the deep: the U.S. Navy submarine ...


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.