Various Endemic Species face Extinction amid Unchecked Climate Change
It’s no secret how climate change has negatively impacted the planet we live on. Over the past decades, the earth’s ecosystem has changed due to the constant interference by humans in nature’s code. A study has discovered that various endemic marine and mountain species face extinction amid relentless, unchecked climate change.
Published in the journal Biological Conversation, the research has warned that several endemic species will go extinct by 2100 if the global temperature rises three degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level. Extinction risks for endemic and non-endemic species are projected to increase disproportionately due to the doubling in global warming.
More than 8,000 risk projections of the expected climate change on 273 areas, which have exceptional biodiversity, were analyzed by the researchers. These areas included marine and terrestrial environments. For the study, the researchers used a meta-analytical approach.
The research revealed that 100 percent of island species and 84 percent of mountain species are at risk of extinction due to climate change. Furthermore, 54 percent of marine and 34 percent of land endemic species also face the risk of extinction due to the phenomenon.
Endemic species are more vulnerable to climate change because they have a restricted range due to which these species are less able to move with the environmental changes. Small populations of island species that live in a relatively small area and have high endemicity make them more vulnerable to climate change
Ph.D. student at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and lead researcher Stella Manes said,
Extinction risk jumps significantly for what is considered to be a small amount of warming, and the endemic species are the ones that suffer the greatest harm. Climate change threatens areas overflowing with species that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The risk for such species to be lost forever increases more than 10-fold if we miss the goals of the Paris Agreement.
However, these species could be saved from extinction if somehow countries around the world reduce their carbon emissions. The study has suggested that adaptation responses in biodiversity-rich spots and enhanced climate change mitigation will be required to reduce extinction risks.