Is climate change playing a role in the extinction of species?
Many scientists expect to see a decline in biodiversity due to climate change, although the extent to which species will be able to adapt to the change is subject to dispute. The Earth’s warming as a result of climate change is forcing many species to leave their traditional habitats and migrate to cooler regions; they are in a race against global warming, as it were. However, global warming is occurring at an unnaturally fast pace compared to earlier climate changes, to which species were partially able to adapt. In addition, there are barriers, such as oceans, that are insurmountable for many species. As a result, they will become trapped in a region that is too warm—and go extinct.
Climate change is therefore threatening the habitats of many species. If the most extensive climate-change scenarios occur, many species will not be able to move fast enough to keep up with suitable habitats, significantly reducing their chances of survival. When a species goes extinct, a unique and irreplaceable life form is lost. Even extinction on the local level can interfere with the healthy functioning of ecosystems. Science agrees that climate change is going to increase the risk of extinction for many species over the next hundred years.