Half of species at risk from cli­mate change in na­ture-rich ar­eas

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - NEWS -

Half the plants and an­i­mals in the world’s most na­ture-rich ar­eas are at risk of dy­ing out if green­house gas emis­sions rise unchecked, wildlife ex­perts have warned.

Even if goals to limit global warm­ing to no more than 2C above pre-in­dus­trial lev­els are met, a quar­ter of species could still van­ish from the most im­por­tant nat­u­ral ar­eas on Earth, a sci­en­tific study found.

The re­port re­veals the im­pact of cli­mate change on plants, mam­mals, rep­tiles, birds and am­phib­ians in ir­re­place­able and wildlife-rich places, from the Ama­zon to the Yangtze in China and the Gala­pa­gos.

Re­searchers looked at the im­pact of tem­per­a­ture rises and rain­fall changes un­der dif­fer­ent cli­mate sce­nar­ios, from a fail­ure to curb emis­sions to tough ac­tion to limit rises to 2C, on al­most 80,000 species in 35 nat­u­ral ar­eas.

The Ama­zon, the Miombo Woodlands in south­ern Africa, home to African wild dogs, and south-west Aus­tralia are some of the most af­fected ar­eas, re­search by East Anglia Univer­sity, James Cook Univer­sity and WWF found.

And species from gi­ant pan­das to snow leop­ards and po­lar bears could see their ter­ri­tory and food sup­plies re­duced.

Dr Stephen Cor­nelius from WWF-UK said of the re­port: “This is a global prob­lem, it shows that across 35 pri­or­ity places scat­tered all over the world, all of them over the last 50 years, across all the sea­sons, have seen tem­per­a­tures rise.”

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