Wildlife in a warming world: the effects of climate change on biodiversity

  • 13/03/2018
  • WWF

Up to half of plant and animal species in the world’s most naturally rich areas, such as the Amazon and the Galapagos, could face local extinction by the turn of the century due to climate change if carbon emissions continue to rise unchecked. Even if the Paris Climate Agreement 2°C target is met, these places could lose 25% of their species according to this landmark study by the University of East Anglia, the James Cook University, and WWF. This report examines the impact of climate change on nearly 80,000 species in 35 of the world’s most diverse and naturally wildlife-rich areas. It models a number of different climate scenarios—from a no-emissions-cuts business-as-usual rise in global mean temperatures of 4.5°C to a 2°C global rise to keep to the upper limit of the Paris Agreement. Each area was chosen for its uniqueness and the variety of species, including plants, insects and animals, found there.