Global warming may bring mass species loss

Apr 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: Meteorites yield clues to Martian early atmosphere

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

EU must take urgent action on invasive species

5 hours ago

The EU must take urgent action to halt the spread of invasive species that are threatening native plants and animals across Europe, according to a scientist from Queen's University Belfast.

Recommended for you

Red moon at night; stargazer's delight

8 hours ago

Monday night's lunar eclipse proved just as delightful as expected to those able to view it. On the East Coast, cloudy skies may have gotten in the way, but at the National Science Foundation's National Optical ...

Meteorites yield clues to Martian early atmosphere

10 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Geologists who analyzed 40 meteorites that fell to Earth from Mars unlocked secrets of the Martian atmosphere hidden in the chemical signatures of these ancient rocks. Their study, published ...

Let's put a sailboat on Titan

13 hours ago

The large moons orbiting the gas giants in our solar system have been getting increasing attention in recent years. Titan, Saturn's largest moon, is the only natural satellite known to house a thick atmosphere. ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Meteorites yield clues to Martian early atmosphere

(Phys.org) —Geologists who analyzed 40 meteorites that fell to Earth from Mars unlocked secrets of the Martian atmosphere hidden in the chemical signatures of these ancient rocks. Their study, published ...

Let's put a sailboat on Titan

The large moons orbiting the gas giants in our solar system have been getting increasing attention in recent years. Titan, Saturn's largest moon, is the only natural satellite known to house a thick atmosphere. ...

Red moon at night; stargazer's delight

Monday night's lunar eclipse proved just as delightful as expected to those able to view it. On the East Coast, cloudy skies may have gotten in the way, but at the National Science Foundation's National Optical ...