Climate change will threaten third of wildlife

Greenhouse gases will make third of wildlife extinct, says UN report

NEARLY A THIRD of the world’s wildlife will become extinct if carbon emissions continue to increase, a United Nations report will conclude this week.

A summary of the report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) also cautioned that if temperatures escalate by more than 2C, now predicted before 2050, then drought will be a very real risk for 20% of the world’s population.

Deltas in China, Bangladesh and the low Pacific islands will also face the risk flooding.

The Synthesis report, aimed at informing negotiations on a new climate change treaty next month in Bali, shows that such a rise in temperature would cause ‘significant extinctions’ around the world, a decrease in cereal harvests everywhere and the flooding of around 30% of coastal wetlands.

More encouraging news from the report, howeve, states that it will be possible to halt global warming if the world’s greenhouse gas emissions start to decline before 2015.

However, the environmental group WWF, says ‘vital facts’ have been removed from the summary report owing to pressure from government officials in countries against taking radical action. They include warnings of more destructive hurricanes, the warming of the upper Pacific Ocean and the loss of glaciers in the Alps.

Keith Allott, of WWF UK, said: ‘The public is encouraged to think by climate sceptics in the media that the IPCC is a highly political body determined to assert an alarming view of climate change. The reality is the opposite.’

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