Climate change and the threat to species biodiversity
Sometimes, the impacts of an environmental phenomena do not occur gradually giving you ample warning, but rather occur precipitously. Since Marten Scheffer and colleagues pushed the notion of alternative states and tipping points this idea has created an industry of research and tipping points have become part of the general conversation (see Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point book). Recent research sugests that this appears to be the case with certain worst-case scenarios with climate change. In a recent article conducted by a team of scientists from University College, London, researchers used climate models and species thermal tolerances to predict dramatic and precipitous large-scale species extinction with continued warming.
In the study, researchers divided the globe into a 100 hundred-kilometre grids while looking at the effects of temperature increase on a sample of over 30,000 species. The researchers suggest that keeping pace with current trends could result in the extinction of literally thousands of species over the next decade, and that certain concessions to multi-lateralism (e.g. the Paris accords) are thus necessary to help address what is a global issue.
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