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More than 1 in 10 species could be lost by end of century, study warns

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Earth could lose more than a tenth of its plant and animal species by the end of the century on current trends, according to new research which comes as nearly 3,000 scientists call for action from governments to stop the destruction of nature in the final days of negotiations at Cop15.

The climate crisis will drive an accelerating cascade of extinctions in the coming decades, as predators lose their prey, parasites lose their hosts, and temperature rises fracture Earth’s web of life, according to the researchers, who warn of the risk of co-extinctions in a paper published on Friday in Science Advances.

From leaf frogs to basking sharks, the extinction risk of plants and animals is typically monitored on the IUCN red list, where scientists have published their analysis on threats to more than 150,388 species, finding that more than 42,000 could go extinct, often due to human behaviour.

However, the new research has used a supercomputer to model a synthetic Earth complete with virtual species to understand the effect global heating and land use change could have on the web of life….

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