WASHINGTON – Temperature rise caused by climate change could result in one out of every six species on the planet to face the danger of extinction unless appropriate measures are taken, according to a new study published in the journal Science.
If the current trend of carbon dioxide emissions continues, the Earth’s temperature will reach four degrees Centigrade (7.7 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial levels, causing 16 percent of animal and plant species on the planet to disappear.
The study that was led by researcher Mark Urban of the University of Connecticut, in the United States, was published on Thursday.
It analyzed data from 131 scientific studies on the risk of extinction due to climate change, in order to compare their data and draw conclusions.
Urban found a link between loss of biodiversity and rising temperatures on the planet.
If temperatures rose by two degrees Centigrade (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the threat of extinction at a global level would increase from the current 2.8 percent to 5.2 percent.
Many species will have the ability to keep up with climate change, and many will not, either because of habitat loss or loss of access to it, explained Urban.
The threat of extinction also varies with regions, with South America facing the highest threat (23 percent with a rise in 4 degrees Centigrade), followed by Australia and New Zealand (14 percent).
North America and Europe would face the lowest risk, with five percent and six percent respectively.
As for Asia, Urban warned that only four of the studies he used were related to this region, suggesting the need to increase efforts for researches in the area, and also in the regions with highest threat levels.