Biodiversity depends on which climate change target we reach


A new assessment finds that, by 2100, the number of plant and vertebrate species losing more than half of their natural ranges will double if global warming is limited to 2°Celsius (C), rather than 1.5°C; insects are projected to be impacted the most, with 18 percent losing over half of their natural ranges under the warmer scenario.

The United Nations Paris Agreement aims to limit global warming to “well below” 2°C above preindustrial levels and to “pursue efforts” to limit it to 1.5°C; however, current pledges by countries are expected to exceed these targets, at 3.2°C. Here, Rachel Warren and colleagues sought to understand how these different global warming scenarios will impact the geographical areas in which a species can be found (“species range”), assessing a total of more than 115,000 terrestrial species; their study involved many organisms, including many insects, that have not previously been considered in similar global biodiversity assessments.

Source: High stakes for biodiversity, depending on which climate change target we reach