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29 Dec 2009 09:12:01

Climate survival race unveiled

Climate survival race unveiled
Scientists have begun to cast bets on the race to survive climate change in a new report.

According to researchers, many species will need to 'run' at a mean speed of a quarter of a mile per year as the century unfolds.

However, plants and animals whose natural habitats are in flatter, low-lying areas will have to move twice as quick if they are to survive.

Species which can only cope in a small range of temperatures will be most at risk from extinction, the scientists warned.

Author of the study, Dr Chris Field, director of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology in California, explained that many plants would be unlikely to survive climate change.

He said: "Expressed as velocities, climate-change projections connect directly to survival prospects for plants and animals.

"These are the conditions that will set the stage, whether species move or cope in place."

In the report, it was noted that species living in nearly a third of the habitats studied would be unlikely to keep up with the speeds needed to be achieved in order to survive climate change.

The report was published in the journal Nature.



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