Climate change could cause 16% of species to become extinct

Humans have had a big effect on the climate, and all species on Earth will suffer because of it. In a new paper published in Science recently, Mark Urban, an ecologist with the University of Connecticut, has said that climate change could cause 16-percent of all known species on our planet to become extinct...if we don't do something about it now, that is. Such extinctions would then also have a serious effect on the planet and all that remain in it, though some regions would be hit harder than others.

Not surprisingly, when the planet is warmer the rate of extinction is faster, and so as the temperatures steadily increase the rate of extinction — or at least risk of extinction — will climb faster. Among the places on Earth that would be most hard hit are Australia, New Zealand, and South America, where the paper says that up to 23-percent of the species could end up extinct in a hotter planet.

The researcher looked at 131 past studies when determining the possible extinction rates. Based on preindustrial temperatures, our planet is already running 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit hotter, something that could likely result in 2.8-percent of our planet's species to become extinct.

When the temperature figures are increased, however, the percentage grows alarmingly fast. A planet temperature increase of 3.6 degree Fahrenheit, for example, bumps the extinction figure to 5.2-percent. On the furthest end of the estimation, a temperature increase of 7.7 degrees Fahrenheit takes the percentage to 16-percent.

VIA: Vice