First Mammal Confirmed Extinct Due To Climate Change

Australia has confirmed the extinction of a rat species. It's the first mammal to be declared extinct due to climate change.

First Mammal Confirmed Extinct Due To Climate Change
University of Queensland

For the first time, a mammal has been declared extinct because of climate change.

On Monday, the Australian government confirmed the Bramble Cay melomys — a small rat from an island on the Great Barrier Reef — became extinct because of "human-induced climate change." The rat was initially pronounced extinct in 2016 after it hadn't been seen for a decade after rising sea levels led to habitat loss.

A 2015 study predicts nearly 8 percent of the world's species could go extinct from climate change. If we stay on our current business-as-usual trajectory, that number could be as high as 1 in every 6 species.

Some of the most at-risk species include the Caribbean's staghorn coral, the Arctic's ringed seal and Australia's White lemuroid ringtail possum.

U.N. report last year issued strong warnings about the consequences for both humans and the environment if global warming continues the way it is now.