Global warming will destroy more than half of the habitats of most plants and a third of animals by 2080, biologists conclude, unless steps are taken to limit greenhouse gases.
Over the past century, average global surface temperatures have increased about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the National Academy of Sciences. This global warming is largely due to burning fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas, which retain heat and warm the atmosphere. Temperatures worldwide are expected to rise roughly 7 degrees by 2100 if the use of fossil fuels continues without attempts to mitigate their effects.
Without mitigation, "large range contractions can be expected even amongst common and widespread species," concludes the study led by Rachel Warren of the United Kingdom's University of East Anglia. It was published in the journal Nature Climate Change.