A new study from the University of Arizona suggests that a large number of Earth creatures are at risk of extinction because of climate change: by 2070, we could lose half of almost all plant and animal species – depending on how humans respond to global warming,media CNET reported. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, analyzed 538 species and 581 sites around the world, focusing on the same species found in the same location situated at least a decade apart.
The researchers collected climate data from the earliest time each site was surveyed to the most recent time. The study found that about 44 percent of the 538 species were extinct in one or more locations.
According to the study, extinctions occur more often at the highest annual temperature levels, as opposed to those where the average annual temperature changes less. And species loss will ultimately depend on how humans cope with climate change and the extent to which the planet will warm in the future.
“In a sense, it’s a ‘choose your own adventure,'” study co-author Professor John J. Wiens of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona said in a press release. “If we comply with the Paris Agreement to combat climate change, by 2070 we may lose less than two out of every 10 plant and animal species on Earth. But according to our results, if human activity causes greater temperature increases, we will lose more than a third or even half of all plant and animal species. “
In May 2019, a Un-backed report compiled by 145 experts from around the world found that as many as 1 million species of flora and fauna have been threatened with extinction for decades.