Global warming and biodiversity.

According to an International study done by the University of Leeds, global warming could wipe out a quarter of all species of plants and animals on Earth by 2050 in one of the biggest mass extinctions since the dinosaurs. The United Nations said the report highlighting threats to creatures ranging from Australian butterflies to Spanish eagles, showed a need for the world to back the Kyoto Protocol, meant to brake rising temperatures linked to human pollution. “A quarter of all species of plants and land animals, or more than a million in all, could be driven to extinction, said Chris Thomas, professor of Conservation Biology at England’s University of Leeds. Prof. Thomas, lead author of the study published in the science journal Nature, said the emissions from cars and factories could push temperatures by the end of the century up to levels not seen for one million to 30 million years. The survey, the largest of its kind to date, studied global warming links to 1,103 species of plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs and insects in South Africa, Brazil, Europe, Australia, Mexico ‘and Costa Rica and extrapolated findings as far as 2050. It did not examine the oceans. “Climate change is the biggest new extinction threat, co-author Lee Hannah said at Conservation International in Washington. Many species would simply be unable to adapt or migrate to new habitats. The researchers concede there are many uncertainties in both climate forecasts and the computer models they used to forecast future extinctions. But they said their dire conclusions may well come to pass if industrial nations do not curtail emissions of greenhouse gases.
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