The endangered Mediterranean species

Up to half of plant and animal species in the world’s most naturally rich areas (like the Amazon, the Arctic, the Galapagos, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea Basin) could face local extinction by the turn of the century due to climate change. This is what WWF fears on the basis of a research published on the Climatic Change journal in which are examined the impacts of climate change on nearly 80,000 plant and animal species in 35 of the world’s most diverse and naturally wildlife-rich areas. Nearly 30% of Mediterranean species like marine turtles and tuna are at risk of extinction even if we keep global warming to 2°C; this rises to 50% with no action at all.

The Mediterranean is among the areas most exposed to climate change. High temperatures in the future will rapidly exceed those experienced in the recent years, leading to dangerous heat stresses on natural and human systems. Increasing sea and sand temperatures are expected to disrupt and severely threaten the survival of the most marine species like marine turtles, cetaceans, bluefin tuna, whales and sharks. This will happen in a marine ecosystem already put under pressure from rampant overfishing, unsustainable tourism and energy and transport developments. We urgently need to shift to sustainable energy and economic models in order to protect our ocean and our livelihood.