Half of all plant and animal life ‘could be wiped out’

Half of all plant and animal life ‘could be wiped out’

Nature-rich areas such as the Amazon rainforest face losing half of all plant and animal species if greenhouse gas levels go unchecked, wildlife experts have warned.

Turtles, elephants, tigers, snow leopards, giant pandas and polar bears will be among the much-loved animals hardest hit.

Even if goals to limit global warming to no more than 2C, a quarter of species could still vanish from the most important natural areas on Earth, a scientific study found.

Nature-rich areas such as the Amazon rainforest face losing half of all plant and animal species if greenhouse gas levels go unchecked, wildlife experts have warned

The study reveals the impact of climate change on plants, mammals, reptiles, birds and amphibians in irreplaceable and wildlife-rich places, from the Amazon to the Yangtze in China and the Galapagos.

Researchers looked at the impact of temperature rises and rainfall changes under different climate scenarios, from a failure to curb emissions to tough action to limit rises to 2C, on almost 80,000 species in 35 natural areas.

The Amazon, the Miombo Woodlands in southern Africa and south-west Australia are some of the most affected areas, research by the University of East Anglia, James Cook University in Australia and wildlife charity WWF found.

Species including giant pandas, snow leopards and polar bears could see their territory and food supplies reduced.

Turtles, elephants, tigers, snow leopards, giant pandas and polar bears will be among the much-loved animals hardest hit

A failure to cut the carbon emissions linked to climate change, leading to a 4.5C rise above pre-industrial levels by 2100,

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