LatestClimate crisis is "causing animal extinctions", new study warns

Climate crisis is “causing animal extinctions”, new study warns

Climate warming is causing animal extinctions, warns new study.

Researchers from Oxford University have studied fossil records to gain a better understanding of the characteristics that increase an animal’s susceptibility to extinction due to global warming. According to the study, there was a higher chance of extinction for species that were subjected to more climatic change.

Authors said, “Our study showed that the best indicator of marine invertebrate extinction risk was geographic range. However, the rate of climate change is also a significant extinction predictor, which has consequences for biodiversity in the current environment.” 

The study examined the fossil record for marine invertebrates spanning the last 485 million years, including snails and shellfish. Because of the abundant and well-researched fossil record of marine invertebrates, it is feasible to determine the exact time and maybe the cause of a species extinction.

Related: We are not moving fast enough on climate crisis; US

The findings may aid in determining which species are now most vulnerable to climate change caused by humans. More than 290,000 fossil records from more than 9,200 groupings examined by researchers. They compiled a list of important characteristics, such as preferred temperature, that may influence resilience to extinction. According to the study’s findings, species were considerably more susceptible to extinction if they underwent temperature variations of at least 7 degrees Celsius throughout geological stages.

Additionally, species that lived in areas with harsh climates, such as the Arctic regions, were disproportionately vulnerable to going extinct. The study also found that while small species are more likely to become extinct, greater geographic range species have a considerably lower chance of doing so. These findings may used to determine which animals are most vulnerable and to develop protective measures for them.

An Oxford University professor stated: “Given estimated estimates of climate change, the evidence from the geological past suggests that global biodiversity faces a harrowing future.” Specifically, our model indicates that the species most likely to face extinction are those that live in the tropics or poles and have limited thermal ranges of less than 15C.

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