One in six of world's animals at risk for extinction, study says

Climate Change Could Extinguish 16 Percent of Wildlife
Climate Change Could Extinguish 16 Percent of Wildlife


If humans don't start doing more to protect the environment we could see 16 percent of the Earth's wildlife go extinct, according to a new study.

The research published Thursday in the journal Science claims that for every increased degree in temperature, the rate of extinction will be accelerated.

The research -- which analyzed more than 100 other previous studies to estimate the full impact -- found extinction risks would be highest in South America, Australia, and New Zealand. Amphibians and reptiles face the greatest risk of extinction, but animals like penguins that rely on packed ice could also be in trouble.

Study author Mark Urban told The Verge it's important to realize animal species extinction would have negative consequences for every human being.

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"Global biodiversity provides the foundation for economy, culture, food, and human health," he said.

President Obama also touched on this issue in his weekly address last week.

"Today there is no greater threat to our planet than climate change, 2014 was the planet's warmest year on record," Obama said. "The fact that the climate is changing has very serious implications about the way we live now, stronger storms, deeper droughts, longer wildfire seasons."

Urban says it will take the implementation of strict policies to stop the detrimental affects of climate change - something he hopes will be addressed at the U.N. Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in December.