The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims “new evidence suggests that climate-driven extinctions and range retractions are already widespread” and the “projected impacts on biodiversity are significant and of key relevance, since global losses in biodiversity are irreversible (very high confidence)” (IPCC-II, 2007, p. 213). The IPCC even claims to know that “globally about 20% to 30% of species (global uncertainty range from 10% to 40%, but varying among regional biota from as low as 1% to as high as 80%) will be at increasingly high risk of extinction, possibly by 2100, as global mean temperatures exceed 2 to 3°C above pre-industrial levels” (Ibid.).
These claims and predictions are not based on what is known about the phenomenon of extinction or on real-world data about how species have endured the warming of the twentieth century, which the IPCC claims was unprecedented in the past two millennia. Because we addressed the impact of rising CO2 concentrations and rising temperatures on plants in detail in the previous chapter, we only briefly recap the evidence concerning terrestrial plants here, finding no evidence of a wave of temperature-driven extinctions, and in fact evidence of just the opposite. We then devote the largest part of the chapter to the effects of global warming on two species to which the IPCC devotes special attention, coral reefs and polar bears.
Additional information on this topic, including reviews of newer publications as they become available, can be found at http://www.co2 science.org/subject/e/extinction.php.
The following pages are taken from Climate Change Reconsidered and can be used as a guide to get you through the basics of this category:
IPCC. 2007-II. Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. M.L. Parry, O.F. Canziani, J.P. Palutikof, P.J. van der Linden and C.D. Hanson. (Eds.) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Pages in category "Species extinction"
The following 10 pages are in this category, out of 10 total.