|Marco Foronda |||May 04, 2015 01:18 AM EDT|
(Photo : The Telegraph) A polar bear is seen holding onto a piece of melting ice. Climate change is expected to cause mass species extinction in the coming years, according to a recent study.
About 16 percent of the planet's species could face extinction because of climate change, according to a study published on Friday in the Science journal.
The planet's temperature in the next 100 years will be warmer by 4.3 degrees Celsius, which is way over the temperature during the pre-industrial era. This event could wipe out about one in six of the Earth's species, researchers predicted.
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"The future global extinction risk from climate change is predicted not only to increase but to accelerate as global temperatures rise," University of Connecticut's ecology professor Marc Urban said.
Although not all organisms affected by global warming will face extinction, many species will face unwanted changes in distribution, number, and their ecological roles.
"In turn, this may affect ecosystems, crop growth, and the spread of disease," Professor Urban added.
According to the study, risk of extinction varies across the globe. For example, North America faces 5 percent of species loss and 6 percent in Europe.
South America, however, could lose up to 23 percent of its species while New Zealand and Australia might experience species loss of 14 percent.
Colder regions of the Earth like North America and Europe is expected to hold up longer than warmer places, with species having more chances of surviving in a warmer planet.
If the rate of increase in temperature is slow, organisms may have a better chance to adapt, the study said.
Currently, the global extinction risk is 2.8 percent. This number is expected to increase in the following years if extreme measures against climate change are not taken by global leaders.
The research was conducted using 113 studies predicting fauna survival in a warmer setting. It studied different animal species found across the globe.
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