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Half of All Wildlife Could Disappear from the Amazon, Galapagos and Madagascar Due to Climate Change

 The Yellow-spotted River Turtle is one of the largest South American river turtles, in Bananal island, Amazon rainforest, Brazil. Jose Caldas—Brazil Photos/LightRocket/Getty Images
As much as half of wildlife and 60% of plants in the world’s richest forests could be at risk of extinction in the next century if stronger efforts aren’t taken to combat climate change, according to a new report on the risks of rising global temperatures. The landmark study was conducted by the World Wildlife Fund, University of East Anglia, and the James Cook University, and published on Tuesday in the journal Climatic Change. It warns that rising temperatures and associated phenomena, including extreme storms, erratic rainfall patterns, and prolonged droughts, could have disastrous effects on some of the world’s most biodiverse areas, including the Amazon river basin, Galapagos islands, southwestern Australia, and coasts of Europe and the Caribbean. “Hotter days, longer periods of drought, and more intense storms are becoming the new normal, and species around the world are already feeling the effects,” said Nikhil Advani, lead climate specialist...
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Global warming puts nearly half of species in key places at risk: report

Story highlights Animals like tigers and elephants are at risk due to climate change, study findsUnique places like the Amazon and Madagascar are at serious risk "Hotter days, longer periods of drought, and more intense storms are becoming the new normal, and species around the world are already feeling the effects," said Nikhil Advani, lead specialist for climate, communities and wildlife at the World Wildlife Fund in London (WWF). The report, a collaboration between the University of East Anglia, the James Cook University, and the WWF, found that nearly 80,000 plants and animals in 35 diverse and wildlife-rich areas -- including the Amazon rainforest, the Galapagos islands, southwest Australia and Madagascar -- could become extinct if global temperatures rise. The 35 places were chosen based on their "uniqueness and the variety of plants and animals found there," the WWF said. "The collected results reveal some striking trends. They add powerful...
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Microplastic pollution in oceans is far worse than feared, say scientists

The number of tiny plastic pieces polluting the world’s oceans is vastly greater than thought, new research indicates. The work reveals the highest microplastic pollution yet discovered anywhere in the world in a river near Manchester in the UK. It also shows that the major floods in the area in 2015-16 flushed more than 40bn pieces of microplastic into the sea. The surge of such a vast amount of microplastic from one small river catchment in a single event led the scientists to conclude that the current estimate for the number of particles in the ocean – five trillion – is a major underestimate. Microplastics include broken-down plastic waste, synthetic fibres and beads found in personal hygiene products. They are known to harm marine life, which mistake them for food, and can be consumed by humans too via seafood, tap water or other food . The risk to people is...
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Hotter, Drier, Hungrier: How Global Warming Punishes the World’s Poorest

Poor Rains and You’re ‘Done’ When Gideon Galu, a Kenyan meteorologist with the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, or FewsNet, looks at 30 years of weather data, he doesn’t see doom for his country’s herders and farmers. He sees a need to radically, urgently adapt to the new normal: grow fodder for the lean times, build reservoirs to store water, switch to crops that do well in Kenya’s soil, and not just maize, the staple. Rainfall is already erratic. Now, he says, it’s getting significantly drier and hotter. The forecast for the next rains aren’t good. “These people live on the edge,” he said. “Any tilt to the poor rains, and they’re done.” His colleague at FewsNet, Chris Funk, a climatologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has linked recent drought to the long-term warming of the western Pacific Ocean as well as higher land temperatures in East Africa,...
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