Climate change is intensifying the global extinction crisis, a new study warns.
A research team, led by the University of Minnesota, found that by 2100, nearly one in three — 30 percent — of all species will be extinct or endangered.
This is mainly due to the loss of biodiversity resulting from production and consumption, the human population and climate change.
Noah Greenwald, director of endangered species at the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity, called the numbers “quite alarming.”
“It took many years for climate change to become a prominent household concern,” Greenwald said Union-Bulletin.
“The extinction crisis is really an essential component of a similar magnitude and severity to climate change.”
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Climate change is intensifying the global extinction crisis, a new study warns. A research team, led by the University of Minnesota, found that by 2100, nearly one in three — 30 percent — of all species will be extinct or endangered.
The team conducted a survey and invited experts from around the world to contribute, and received 3,331 responses from scientists studying biodiversity in 187 countries, covering all major groups of species, habitats and ecosystems.
The majority of species include plants and insects, along with other invertebrates, but so little is known about these creatures that experts “can’t determine the extent to which they are threatened,” Healy Hamilton, chief scientist at the nonprofit research group NatureServe, told reporters. . Union bulletin.
What is known, however, is that the species plays a key role in purifying air, filtering water and ensuring the health of the earth’s soil.
This survey is one of the first to collect information from thousands of international biodiversity experts, who have submitted geographic and demographic data.
The study also found that at least a million species of animals and plants are currently on the brink of extinction — and 10 percent of those are insects.
“Global biodiversity loss and its impacts may be greater than previously thought, due to higher estimates for undervalued taxa and by underrepresented experts,” the study published in the journal reads. Limits in ecology and environment.
The team gained an “overwhelming consensus” that pollution and overexploitation from climate change are among the main culprits for biodiversity loss.
The results show that past biodiversity loss estimates have been highest among those studying freshwater ecosystems and that many tropical habitats are estimated to have the highest percentage of endangered or extinct species since 1500.
The research also found that at least one million species of animals and plants are currently on the brink of extinction — and 10 percent of those are insects.
“Our estimates of the study, which were provided by 629 experts studying terrestrial and freshwater invertebrates, therefore suggest that the percentage of endangered insect species may be much higher,” the team shared in the study.
‘Further research into the diversity and endangered status of insects and other hyperdiverse and underexposed taxa is urgently needed, especially in light of the large recent decline in insect numbers in some locations.’
This is mainly due to the loss of biodiversity resulting from production and consumption, human population and climate change (stock photo)
“If current trends continue, further biodiversity loss is expected, and experts estimate that 37% (uncertainty range: 20-50%) of species may be threatened or at risk of extinction by 2100,” the study reads.
In addition, many currently endangered species are predicted to become extinct before the end of this century.
Most experts (84%) expected species to become extinct within 100 years of becoming endangered, with 75% of experts expecting extinctions to occur within decades (10-100 years) and a further 9% of experts expecting extinctions to occur within decades (10-100 years). extinction will occur within 10 years. year.’
The researchers encourage biodiversity experts to use these results to learn how their own perspectives differ from those of other experts, and to ensure that a range of perspectives are taken into account when conducting global biodiversity assessments, setting global biodiversity targets and targets. and making the new policies and other transformative changes needed to conserve biodiversity.
Akira Mori of the University of Tokyo in Japan said in a statement: “Because biodiversity is highly regional in nature, our research’s attempt to bring together the opinions of regional experts from around the world is unprecedented.
“From the perspective of social and cultural diversity and inclusiveness, even if they are not necessarily complete, I think we have made certain suggestions for future international policy discussions.”
CRIMING SPECIES: EXPERTS PREDICT GLOBAL WARMING WILL CAUSE CREATURES TO SHRINK
A recent study in Canada found that the region’s beetles have shrunk over the past century.
By looking at eight species of beetle and measuring the animals past and present, they found that some beetles adapted to smaller body sizes.
The data also showed that the larger beetles shrink, but the smaller ones do not.
About 50 million years ago, the earth warmed by three degrees Celsius and as a result the animal species shrank by 14 percent.
Another warming event about 55 million years ago — called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) — warmed the Earth to eight degrees Celsius (14.4 °F).
In this case, the animal species of that time have shrunk by up to a third.
Woolly mammoths suffered a warming climate, shrinking habitat and increased hunting from a growing early human population that drove them to extinction — along with many large animals
The shrinking in body size is seen with various warming events.
As global temperatures continue to rise, the average size of most animals is expected to decline.
In addition to global warming, the world has seen a dramatic decline in the number of large animals.
So-called ‘megafauna’ are large animals that are going extinct. With long lifespans and relatively small populations, they are less able to adapt to rapid changes than smaller animals that reproduce more frequently.
Often hunted for trophies or for food, large animals such as the mastadon, mammoths and the western black rhinoceros, which were declared extinct in 2011, have been hunted to extinction.