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According to the new study, by the end of this century the green house effect will push temperatures up to levels not seen for 30 million years. This will further threaten the habitats of species already contending with invasion and/or destruction of their habitats. Among the species projected to become extinct in the next 50 years are Australia's Boyd's forest dragon, Mexico's Jico deer mouse, and Europe's azure-winged magpie, just to name a few.
The study utilized models of climatic change developed by the IPCC that predict the Earth's present warming trend will result in average global temperatures 2.5 to 10.4 degrees higher by the year 2100. Depending on the exact increase, the study concluded that 15 to 37 percent of the species studied would become extinct by 2050. A mid-range forecast leads to about a quater of the species becoming extinct.
Scientists from over a dozen laboratories worldwide studied in detail over 1,100 native species found in six regions including Mexico, Australia, Brazil, South Africa, China, and Europe. They concluded that more than a fourth of them would vanish as climatic changes turned forests into plains and plains into deserts over the next 50 years.
Extrapolating those results to the over 4 million plant and animal species found on land led to their grim prediction. If these projections turn out to be accurate, this extinction will be the worst on Earth since the dinosaurs disappeared 65 million years ago. Note that the nearly 2 million additional species of marine plants and animals were not included in this study. The effect of global warming on them has not yet been evaluated.
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