According to a research published by the National Academy of Sciences, global warming may cause major loss of living space resulting in extinction of many species by 2080.
Global warming and subsequent climatic changes have been the cause of major concerns among biologists. A new research published by the National Academy of Sciences predicts that global warming can cause loss of living space for more than half of the plant species and one third of animal species existing today, if major precautionary measures are not taken.
Climatic changes are affecting the availability of water and nutrients required by these plants and animals to survive. One of the causes of global warming is the burning of fossil fuel like oil, natural gas and coal. This retains warmth and heat in the atmosphere causing temperatures to rise. Biologists predict that the current 1.4 degrees rise in average global surface temperatures could increase to 7 degrees by 2100.
Biologists studied the living spaces of 48,786 animal and plant species to analyze how these rising temperatures affect them. They found that by 2080, more than 57 percent of plant species and 30 percent of animal species will have their living space cut down by 50 percent.
"The terrifying loss of biodiversity predicted by this study shows that climate chaos will fundamentally transform our planet," Shaye Wolf of the Center for Biological Diversity, a conservation group, said in a statement on the study. "We need to cut emissions now, before our ecosystems suffer catastrophic damage."
According to the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, if temperatures rise by more than 3.6 degrees this century, over 20 percent of living species will face the risk of extinction.