The Reporter
Issue 495, 26 January 2004
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Climate warning makes global impact

Boyd's forest dragonThe vibrantly coloured Boyd’s forest dragon is just one of a million species which are threatened by global warming, according to Leeds-led research which made front pages and news broadcasts around the world.

“An unnatural disaster” declared the Guardian’s front page headline after the work by professor of conservation biology Chris Thomas was published in Nature and circulated by the University press office. The study of how climate change could affect endangered animals and plants around the world made the front pages of UK and US papers, including the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Sydney Morning Herald and the Zimbabwe News.

CNN, the BBC Six O’Clock News, Newsnight, BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4 and Radio Five Live were amongst the outlets to pick up the story. Local species at risk include the red kite, Scottish crossbill and, from Mexico, the smokey pocket gopher. In an interview with the Independent, Professor Thomas explained the significance of the research: “For some years scientists have said climate change may lead to some extinctions but until now there has been no numerical analysis of how big this is likely to be.”


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