The study was led by Dr. Rachel Warren from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at UEA, along with Dr. Jeremy VanDerWal at James Cook University in Australia and Dr. Jeff Price, from UEA's school of Environmental Sciences and the Tyndall Centre.
On analyzing 50,000 globally widespread and common species, researchers noticed that more than half of the plants and one-third of the animals will lose more than half of their climatic range by 2080, if no strict measures are taken to slow the rate of global warming. This clearly indicates that the geographic range of common plants and animals will shrink globally, and there will be a great decline in biodiversity.
The highest risk is for plants, reptiles and amphibians especially. Most of the plant and animal species will be wiped away from the Sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, Australia and Amazonia. North Africa will witness a major plant loss, including places like Central Asia and South Eastern Europe.
If immediate strict measures are taken to mitigate climate change, researchers could drop the loss by 60 percent. This is because mitigation will slow and avoid global temperatures from rising by more than 2 degrees Celsius. In the absence of mitigation, global temperatures will rise to 4 degrees by 2100.
"Our research predicts that climate change will greatly reduce the diversity of even very common species found in most parts of the world. This loss of global-scale biodiversity would significantly impoverish the biosphere and the ecosystem services it provides," Dr. Warren said in a press statement.