Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Warm climate means short-term extinction of species

The British scientists from the Universities of York, Glasgow and Leeds have been recently re-examining fossil and geological records going back 540 million years, in order to discover the connection between biodiversity and global warming of the planet.

Their conclusion was that in the normal scenario biodiversity on Earth increases as the planet warms but present rapid trends of increasing temperature will unlikely increase global biodiversity on short-tem because climate change is happening too fast (primarily due to increased human impact).

The rate of increase in biodiversity is primarily dependant on the evolution of new species over millions and millions of years. Of course, the evolution of new species is also usually accompanied by extinctions of existing species that fail to adapt to changes in climate.

Overall speaking, warm climates seem to boost biodiversity in the very long run (millions of years), rather than reducing it but short-term speaking there is likely to be more extinction than evolution of new species.

The scientists however still disagree that that current global warming is good for existing species, at least from the current point of view, because large changes in our planet's biodiversity need millions of years so the only thing we could right now predict with a reasonable dose of certainty is short-term losses in our planet’s biodiversity.

The fossil records showed clear proof that the warmer periods in past were at first accompanied by the increased rate of extinction, but after a longer time span they also promoted the evolution of new species, increasing overall biodiversity on our planet.

The past geological periods however didn’t have humans in the climate change equation.

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