Half of All Species Risk Extinction as Earth Warms

Humans will survive climate change, many other species won't: study
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2007 4:15 AM CDT
Sunflower Electric Cooperative's coal-fired power plant churns out electricity in this Friday, Feb. 2, 2007 file photo in Holcomb, Kan. Twenty-five coal-fired power plant proposals have been scrapped...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Global warming could trigger the extinction of half the world's plant and animal species—although humans will probably survive, according to a new British study of the likely effects of climate change. Researchers studied links between mass extinctions and climate changes over 520 million years. In one event, 95% of animal and plant species were eliminated, reports the Guardian.

"Our results provide the first clear evidence that global climate may explain substantial variation in the fossil record," said a population ecologist on the research team. "If our results hold for current warming, they suggest that extinctions will increase."