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How Can Change in Climate Cause Extinction? Extinction Risk from Climate Changes

written by: Jenny Griffin•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 7/7/2008

The risk of extinction of species over time is a growing concern due to the effects of a changing climate and conditions.

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    When you hear someone using the word extinction, it likely brings some apprehension and uncertainty to mind. According to scientists and researchers that study the effects of our changing climates, there is reason to be concerned. The term that has been used to describe the risk of species being eventually extinct because of the adverse changes in climate is “extinction risks of climate change”. This has become a growing concern as the atmospheric levels change and our climate conditions are shifting. Conditions like global warming are a factor in the changing climate.

    Recent findings have shown that the greater the increase of global warming, the greater increase of risk for the extinction of species. When the global temperature continues to rise, so does the number of species that are at risk. Some studies have indicated that between fifteen and thirty-seven percent of animal and plant species could be headed for extinction by the year 2050. This assumption is alarming to the population in general.

    There have been numerous changes in the distribution and number of species that have been affected in potential extinction. By using certain projections of a species risk due to adverse potential climate changes in the future, it is possible to assess the extinction risks for other species in sample regions spanning around twenty percent of the surface of the earth. By exploring approaches like these, scientists have projected significant extinction increases of different species in the next forty to forty-five years.

    The frightening truth behind all of this is that there is not a simple answer or fix for the situation. In order to reduce the risk of extinction of species, we need to address the problems and situations that cause it. Global warming, biodiversity and destruction of our rain forests are just some of the growing epidemics that are causing to the destruction of the atmosphere of the earth and that are responsible for the changes in climate.

    Global warming plays a big role in atmospheric conditions and has a big effect on the increase of change in our climate conditions. We need to continue to do what we can to fight global warming and other dangers to the environment in order to preserve the earth and the life that relies on it.