OSLO (Reuters) - Global warming will become a top cause of extinction from the tropical Andes to South Africa with thousands of species of plants and animals likely to be wiped out in coming decades, a study said on Tuesday.The Times of London 3C hotter. Earth's danger point. Now scientists say it is going to happen:
"Global warming ranks among the most serious threats to the planet's biodiversity and, under some scenarios, may rival or exceed that due to deforestation," according to the study in the journal Conservation Biology.
"This study provides even stronger scientific evidence that global warming will result in catastrophic species loss across the planet," said Jay Malcolm, an assistant forestry professor at the University of Toronto and a lead author of the study with scientists in the United States and Australia.
Last month, a UN study said humans were responsible for the worst spate of extinctions since the dinosaurs and urged unprecedented extra efforts to reach a UN target of slowing the rate of losses by 2010.
The world will warm by 3C (5.4F) even under emissions projections for 2050 that leading scientists consider optimistic, the United Nations group that studies global warming has said.Global warming fastest for 20,000 years - and it is mankind's fault
The increase, which would cause drought and famine for 400 million people and devastate wildlife, is predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its most confident assessment yet of how greenhouse gases are affecting global temperatures.
A draft of part of the panel’s fourth report, which the US Government has released on the internet, shows that it has, for the first time, placed a likely figure on the progress of global warming, indicating a level of scientific certainty that it has avoided in the past.
Global warming is made worse by man-made pollution and the scale of the problem is unprecedented in at least 20,000 years, according to a draft report by the world's leading climate scientists.
The leaked assessment by the group of international experts says there is now overwhelming evidence to show that the Earth's climate is undergoing dramatic transformation because of human activity.
A draft copy of the report by a working group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases are at the highest for at least 650,000 years.