Research Press Release

Damage limitation

Nature Climate Change

May 13, 2013

In the absence of effective greenhouse gas mitigation policies, 55% of plants and 35% of animals could have their climatically suitable range - or living space - at least halved by the 2080s. These findings, published online this week in Nature Climate Change, show that prompt and stringent mitigation of carbon emissions could substantially reduce range losses and buy decades more time for species to adapt to climatic changes.

Rachel Warren and co-workers conducted a global analysis of climatic range changes in response to different climate scenarios and show that unfettered growth in carbon emissions can be expected to result in large range contractions, even amongst common and widespread species.However, losses could be reduced by 60% if, through mitigation policies, the growth in emissions is halted in 2016 or by 40% if halted in 2030.


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