Species extinction Rooms

Species extinction Rooms

December 2016 – Analysis of the ‘warm edge’ of the areal spread of terrestrial species, marine and freshwater reveals that local extinctions linked to climate change are already widespread.
Half the species on Earth is hit by local extinctions.

Almost half of all plant and animal species on the planet is affected by local extinctions linked to climate change. This was revealed by a study of 976 terrestrial species, marine and freshwater in the world, which analyzed the fluctuations in the extension of their distribution areas and tried to determine their causes.
Of these almost 1,000 species, as many as 47% has disappeared in some of its traditional areas of diffusion. Does not mean that the species is extinct altogether: the effects of this phenomenon are local, ie only in certain habitats conditions lead to the disappearance of a species, which continues to survive elsewhere.
The research was conducted by John Wiens, an ecologist at the University of Arizona in Tucson, and published in the Public Library of Science Biology. Has focused attention on so-called “warm edge”, literally “hot edge”: that is, those areas of the distribution boundary of a species where the environmental conditions in a given ecosystem become too hot for some species, which are then forced to migrate, or simply die out for lack of alternatives. The work of Wiens is based on studies already published and, in a sense, put them in the system by creating a global mapping of the phenomenon.

Of the 716 animal species and 260 plant species distributed in Asia, Europe, Madagascar, Oceania and America, Wien has found signs of major changes in their distribution areas in 460 cases. The effects of climate change are heavier in the tropics and particularly afflict animals (545 of the 716 species assessed). All this in a context where global warming is 0.85 ° C between 1880 and 2012.
“These results suggest that local extinctions linked to climate change are already widespread, although the current global warming is modest compared to that expected in the next 100 years – says Wiens – These extinctions will become much more common with the rise of global warming “. A large part of the scientific community is concerned that this process can trigger – if he has not already triggered – a mass extinction on Earth. It would be the sixth in the history of the planet (the last is related to the meteorite that wiped out the dinosaurs), but this time as cause it would be the man.

Guido Bissanti




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