They are part of the earth’s rich tapestry. But how much longer will they be around?
Top climate experts predict up to 30 percent of species face an increased risk of extinction if global temperatures rise beyond 1.5 to 2.5 degrees Celsius.
Meeting in Brussels, they approved a final report after all-night-long disputes during which governments were accused by some scientists of watering down a number of their findings.
Watered-down or not, the report is the bleakest forecast yet by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Among the warnings, experts predict the world’s poorest will be hardest hit – saying global warming could cause hunger for millions.
The report says change, widely blamed on human emissions of greenhouse gases, is already under way in nature and that desertification, droughts and rising seas will hit hard in the tropics.