Impact of Climate Change on the Number of Threatened Species: International Evidence
Global warming is the price for economic development. Rapid industrialization produces greenhouse gases that trap the heat and make the earth warmer. The rise in temperature and changes in precipitation resulted in extreme weather conditions. Global climate change affects both physical and biological environments and the impacts on biodiversity is directly and indirectly. The direct effects of climate change includes the increased in temperature and precipitation that affect individual organisms, populations, species distribution and ecosystem compositions and functions. The indirect effects of climate change are through increased salinity and extreme weather events such as floods, cyclones and droughts that will have a profound negative impacts on the forest and biodiversity. The present study investigates the impact of climate change on the number of threatened species as proxy for biodiversity loss using a cross-national data consisting of 98 countries. We have estimated the impact of temperature, precipitation and the number of natural disasters occurrences on the number of threatened species, in particular birds, fishes, mammals, plants and reptiles. As control variables, we have considered government effectiveness (proxy for good governance) and the level of economic development (proxy for wealth). By employing Ordinary Least Square (OLS) with robust standard error and quantile regressions analyses, our results suggest that all three climate change indicators – temperature, precipitation and the number of natural disasters occurrences increase the number of threatened species (biodiversity loss). Higher economic development also affect the number of threatened species positively. On the other hand, good governance such as government effectiveness reduces the number of threatened species. Thus, practicing good governance, promoting conservation of the environment and the control of greenhouse gasses would able to mitigate biodiversity loss.
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