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Limiting global warming to 1.5oC would save the vast majority of the world's plant and animal species from climate change—according to new research led by the University of East Anglia.
A new report published today in Science reveals that limiting warming to the ultimate goal of the Paris Agreement would avoid half the risks associated with warming of 2oC for plants and animals, and two thirds of the risks for insects.
Species - Globe - Southern - Africa - Amazon
Species across the globe would benefit—but particularly those in Southern Africa, the Amazon, Europe and Australia.
Reducing the risk to insects is particularly important, the team say, because they are so vital for 'ecosystem services' such as pollinating crops and flowers, and being part of the food chain for other birds and animals.
Research - Benefits - Limit - Temperature - Paris
Previous research focused on quantifying the benefits of limiting warming to 2oC above pre-industrial times—the upper limit for temperature as set out in the Paris Agreement—and did not look at insects.
This is the first study to explore how limiting warming to 1.5oC would benefit species globally.
Researchers - UEA - James - Cook - University
Researchers at UEA and James Cook University in Australia studied some 115,000 species including 31,000 insects, 8,000 birds, 1,700 mammals, 1,800 reptiles, 1,000 amphibians and 71,000 plants in this, the largest scale study of its kind.
Lead researcher Prof Rachel Warren, from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at UEA, said: "We wanted to see how different projected climate futures caused areas to become climatically unsuitable for the species living there.
Risks - Biodiversity - Number - Species - Range
"We measured the risks to biodiversity by counting the number of species projected to lose more than half their geographic range due to climate change.
"We found that achieving the ultimate goal of the Paris Agreement, to limit warming to 1.5oC above pre-industrial levels, would reap enormous benefits for biodiversity—much more so than limiting warming to 2oC.
Insects - Change - Warming
"Insects are particularly sensitive to climate change. At 2oC warming,...
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