Warming climate may slam many species

10:02am, January 21, 2004

Expected increases in global temperature could eradicate from a sixth to a half of the plant and animal species across large areas of the globe, scientists say.

Climate change over the past 30 years has produced significant shifts in the population sizes and the geographical distributions of many species, says Chris D. Thomas, an ecologist at the University of Leeds in England. He and his colleagues recently used mapping techniques to discern population and distribution trends of 1,103 selected plant and animal species that live in parts of Mexico, Australia, South Africa, Europe, and the Amazon rain forest. The areas studied account for 20 percent of the Earth's land surface.

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