. .

Extinction risk from climate change

TitleExtinction risk from climate change
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsThomas CD, Cameron A, Green RE, Bakkenes M, Beaumont LJ, Collingham YC, Erasmus BFN, di Sequeira FM, Grainger A, Hannah L, Hughes L, Huntley B, van Jaarsveld AS, Midgley GF, Miles L, Ortega-Huerta MA, Peterson AT, Phillips OL, Williams SE
Keywordsabundance, bird, butterfly, carbon sequestration, climate, climate change, distribution, extinction risk, frog, mammal, plant, reptile, risk, terrestrial fauna, terrestrial vegetation

Climate change over the past ,30 years has produced numerous shifts in the distributions and abundances of species and has been implicated in one species-level extinction. Using projections of species' distributions for future climate scenarios, we assess extinction risks for sample regions that cover some 20% of the Earth's terrestrial surface. Exploring three approaches in which the estimated probability of extinction shows a powerlaw relationship with geographical range size, we predict, on the basis of mid-range climate-warming scenarios for 2050, that 15-37% of species in our sample of regions and taxa will be 'committed to extinction'.When the average of the three methods and two dispersal scenarios is taken, minimal climate-warming scenarios produce lower projections of species committed to extinction (,18%) than mid-range (,24%) and maximum change (,35%) scenarios. These estimates show the importance of rapid implementation of technologies to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and strategies for carbon sequestration.

Start Page


End Page