Climate Change Facts - Biodiversity Impacts
  • The RATE OF BIODIVERSIY LOSS is an astounding 1,000 to 10,000 times higher than a natural background extinction rate.
    “The current rate of species extinction far exceeds anything in the fossil record.”
    (Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B (Biological Science))
    Ecosystems may be headed towards permanent damage as countries fail to achieve goals to protect animal and plant life. (UNEP, 2010)
  • Up to 270 unique species are now being lost every day.
  • The Earth is said by some experts to be undergoing her “sixth great extinction event” due to climate change as well as other mostly human‐caused factors.
  • As global average temperature increase exceeds about 3.5 degrees Celsius, there may be extinctions of up to 70% of species around the globe. (IPCC) 
New 2010 reports on species affected:  
  • Antarctic penguin populations declined more than 80% since 1975 due to loss of sea ice.
  • Arctic caribou are in steep decline due to climate change-caused starvation as early thaws and freezing over events make plant food inaccessible.
  • Similar to 2007 and 2009, in September 2010, tens of thousands of walruses came ashore in an unusual behavior, due to lack of sea ice where they normally rest.
  • Migratory birds dying because of ill-timed travel that leaves them without adequate food supplies when they arrive at destinations and/or places like wetlands drying that no longer provide habitat.

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