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10 Signs of a Modern Mass Extinction

5

The Temperature Is Rising

A study published in Nature suggests that between 15 and 37 percent of the animals researched in the study will either be extinct or on the way to extinction by 2050, depending on the increase in Earth's temperature.
A study published in Nature suggests that between 15 and 37 percent of the animals researched in the study will either be extinct or on the way to extinction by 2050, depending on the increase in Earth's temperature.
Jan Will/iStockphoto

The concept of global warming and whether it's caused by people is still a topic for debate in some circles. But most scientists agree that the temperature is rising — and human activity is the cause.

Critics point out that some animals have adjusted to changes in climate before and even thrived. But other researchers have created different models and equations for exactly how many animals and plants will die out because of global warming. A quarter of all plants and land animals could become extinct, according to a study by Chris Thomas of the University of Leeds. The U.N. Climate Panel states that a 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degree Fahrenheit) increase in temperature will lead to an increasing risk of extinction for 30 percent of species on Earth.

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