Lemurs and giant tortoises among species at risk if global warming reaches 3C
Unique island species including lemurs and the Galapagos giant tortoise could be at high risk of extinction if the planet warms by more than 3C above pre-industrial levels, new research warns.
Analysis of 270 biodiversity hotspots suggests almost half of endemic marine species and 84% of endemic mountain species will face extinction if the planet warms by more than 3C, which if current trends continue could happen in 2100.
However, keeping the global temperature rise to 1.5C – the target limit set by the Paris Agreement – would reduce the risk of global extinctions tenfold, according to the paper published in Biological Conservation.
If the world manages to stick to 1.5C of warming, just 2% of land-based endemic species would be at risk of extinction, compared with 20% at more than 3C, according to the analysis of hundreds of existing studies. Species are endemic if they are only found in one place, such as an island, mountain range or single country.
The increase is even more significant in marine ecosystems. “Extinction risk jumps significantly for what is considered to be …
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