Citizens for Justice and Peace

The world’s major forests could lose half their wildlife due to global warming: Study

14, Mar 2018 | CJP Team

According to a new study, the world’s greatest forests are at risk of losing more than half of their plant species unless more efforts are not made to combat climate change, the Guardian reported. The study, conducted by the WWF, the University of East Anglia, and the James Cook University, also found that animal species like mammals, amphibians and birds are also at risk of extinction “on a catastrophic scale” in the Amazon and other biodiverse ecosystems around the world if the planet’s temperature increases above 1.5ºC. The study considered three temperature increases: 2ºC, which is the goal of the Paris Agreement, 3.2ºC, which is the likely increase in temperature given current climate pledges, and 4.5ºC if emissions trends continue as they are. In the Amazon, for example, 35% of species are under threat of going locally extinct at a 2ºC temperature rise. At a rise of 3.2ºC, the study predicts the extinction of over 60% of plant species and nearly 50% of animal species in the Amazon. If no efforts are made, then more than 70% of plant species and more than 60% of mammal, bird, and reptile species could go extinct. Other areas like southwest Australia and Africa’s Miombo woodlands could also suffer dire extinctions if further action is not taken. Moreover, the study also noted that increased storms and droughts could result in conflict between animals and humans over water. 



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