rewriting history

Global warming could wipe out more than half the world’s animal and plant species, according to a study that links rising temperatures with mass extinctions of the past 520 million years.

By comparing fossil data with temperature estimates, British researchers have found that four of the five mass extinction events were linked to warm “greenhouse” phases.

The scientists, from the universities of York and Leeds, say their work shows for the first time a close association between Earth’s climate and extinctions in the past 520 million years.

Lead author Dr Peter Mayhew said: “If our results hold for current warming … they suggest that extinctions will increase.”

Sydney Morning Herald, 25 Oct 2007

see also – just plain scary

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