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Who Will Survive Climate Change?

Aaron Liu

A new study published in the journal Ecology Letters makes the sobering claim that global warming will outpace the animal kingdom's ability to adapt to temperature changes. "On average... animals adapted to temperature changes at a rate of less than 1 degree Celsius (or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) per million years. By contrast, global warming is expected to raise temperatures on the order of 4 degrees Celsius (or 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) in the next 100 years." Out of 540 species surveyed by the study, none -- not frogs, newts, cranes or crocodiles -- have ever successfully adjusted to the temperature changes already put into motion.

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