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‘Uncomfortable’ climates to devastate cities within a decade, study says

October 14, 2013

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By John Roach

The world is hurtling toward a stark future where the web of life unravels, human cultures are uprooted, and millions of species go extinct, according to a new study. This doomsday scenario isn’t far off, either: It may start within a decade in parts of Indonesia, and begin playing out over most of the world — including cities across the United States — by mid-century.


“The warming in the tropics is not as much but we are rather more quickly going to go outside that recent experience of temperature and that is going to be devastating to species and it is probably going to be devastating to people,” Stuart Pimm, a conservation biologist at Duke University, who was not involved with the new study but is familiar with its contents, told NBC News.


According to Mora’s team, the pending shift to a new climate regime presents all species in any given region three choices: move to a more suitable climate or stay put and adapt. If neither of those is possible, the third choice is extinction. And for many species in the tropics that are adapted to a stable climate, migrating to the more variable climates of higher latitudes isn’t an option, Pimm noted.

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