A new study shows that climate change can result in the extinction of one in six animal and plant species on the Earth.
In an article published in the journal Science, Mark Urban, an ecologist and biologist at the University of Connecticut, analyzed over 131 previous studies to predict whether different species could live in a warmer world.
Urban warned of the detrimental influence of climate change on the planet’s biodiversity, calling on the international community to take concrete action to contain the threat.
“Global biodiversity provides the foundation for economy, culture, food, and human health,” he said, adding, “If we continue on our current trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions, we face losing one in six species.”
According to the study, global warming has raised the planet’s average surface temperature about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since the Industrial Revolution.
“Extinction risks from climate change are expected not only to increase but to accelerate for every degree rise in global temperatures,” Urban said, warning, “The signal of climate change-induced extinctions will become increasingly apparent if we do not act now to limit future climate change.”
The scholar also stated that even the more resistant species will be endangered by the temperature rise since they have to harmonize themselves with the ongoing changes in their ecosystems.
In recent years, the global community has been seeking to thwart the rising level of global warming and reduce it to the prospective goal of 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial period.