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April 09, 2020 - Phys.org

Climate change could cause sudden biodiversity losses worldwide

Climate change could cause sudden biodiversity losses worldwide
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A warming global climate could cause sudden, potentially catastrophic losses of biodiversity in regions across the globe throughout the 21st century and it could already be happending, finds a new UCL-led study.

The study's lead author, Dr. Alex Pigot (UCL Centre for Biodiversity & Environment Research): "We found that climate change risks to biodiversity don't increase gradually. Instead, as the climate warms, within a certain area most species will be able to cope for a while, before crossing a temperature threshold, when a large proportion of the species will suddenly face conditions they've never experienced before." "It's not a slippery slope, but a series of cliff edges, hitting different areas at different times."

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