Study: Warming Could Kill 20% of Lizards by 2080

Posted on June 14, 2010

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20% of all lizard populations could go extinct by 2080.

Lizards are dying out, and climate change is the reason why.

That is the conclusion of a recent international scientific study addressing the impact of climate change on lizard populations.

This globe-ranging study was led by Professor Barry Sinervo, a teacher of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.  The research team were biologists who took what they learned, and what was already known, about the affect of rising temperatures on lizards and used it to create a predictive model of when and where lizard populations would be endangered by climate change.  Then they took their model out into the real world and found that it worked.  They uncovered extinctions among previously studied lizard populations, and these extinctions were happening precisely where the model said they would be.

“We did a lot of work on the ground to validate the model and show that the extinctions are the result of climate change,” said Professor Sinvervo.  “None of these are due to habitat loss.  These sites are not disturbed in any way, and most of them are in national parks or other protected areas.”

He added, “Most of these species currently registering local extinctions will be completely extinct by 2080, unless we change and limit the carbon dioxide production that is driving global warming.”

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Read about the study @

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/view.php?id=43996