A new study is changing the way we think about the effect of global warming on species biodiversity. A team of scientists from the United Kingdom has analyzed the fossil record dating back 540 million years ago. Their findings suggest that species will not die out due to habitat change or loss, but instead, biodiversity will actually increase as a result of global warming.
This study reexamined a previous study that assessed biodiversity over the same time period. The original data set was not as sophisticated and concluded that global warming negatively impacted biodiversity. Scientists found the results perplexing because biodiversity is greatest near the Equator, where the temperatures are very high.
The team set out to rework and improve the data. They reassessed the fossil record and found that when temperatures increased for long periods of time, many species did become extinct. However, these periods also promoted the origination of new species, which boosts biodiversity over a very long time scale.
Said a faculty member associated with the study, “Our results seem to show that temperature improves biodiversity through time as well as across space. However, they do not suggest that current global warming is good for existing species. Increases in global diversity take millions of years, and in the meantime we expect extinctions to occur.”
In my opinion, this is a bit of good news. Although I do believe that we need to be responsible and aggressive about taking care of the Earth, I am hopeful that it will continue to evolve and stay alive, despite our influence. I also think that if we are not careful, we will make conditions unlivable for our own species. I think it is possible for the human species to become extinct, but highly unlikely. My hope is that we nurture our resources so that we can share them with our children. Read more here.