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Extinction risk from climate change

Thomas, C.D., Cameron, A., Green, R.E., Bakkenes, M., Beaumont, L.J., Collingham, Y.C., Erasmus, B.F.N., Ferreira de Siqueira, M., Grainger, A., Hannah, L., Hughes, L., Huntley, B., van Jaarsveld, A.S., Midgley, G.F., Miles, L., Ortega-Huerta, M.A., Townsend Peterson, A., Phillips, O.L. and Williams, S.E. (2004) Extinction risk from climate change. Nature, 427 (6970). pp. 145-148. ISSN 0028-0836

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Abstract

Climate change over the past 30 years has produced numerous shifts in the distributions and abundances of species and has been implicated in one species-level extinction. Using projections of species' distributions for future climate scenarios, we assess extinction risks for sample regions that cover some 20% of the Earth's terrestrial surface. Exploring three approaches in which the estimated probability of extinction shows a power-law relationship with geographical range size, we predict, on the basis of mid-range climate-warming scenarios for 2050, that 15–37% of species in our sample of regions and taxa will be 'committed to extinction'. When the average of the three methods and two dispersal scenarios is taken, minimal climate-warming scenarios produce lower projections of species committed to extinction (18%) than mid-range (24%) and maximum-change (35%) scenarios. These estimates show the importance of rapid implementation of technologies to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and strategies for carbon sequestration.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2004 Nature Publishing Group
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > School of Geography (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > University of Leeds Research Centres and Institutes > Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation (Leeds)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2004
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2014 08:38
Published Version: http://www.nature.com/nature
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/83

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