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Figure Cross-Chapter Box EXTREMES.1

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Figure Cross-Chapter Box EXTREMES.1 |  A conceptual illustration of how extinction risk is affected by changes in the frequency, duration and magnitude of extreme weather or climate events (e.g,. drought, fire, flood and heat waves). Many organisms have adapted to cope with long- and short-term climate variability, but as the magnitude and frequency of extreme events increases, superimposed on the long-term climate trend, the threshold between survivable extreme weather events (yellow) and extremes that carry a high risk of causing population or species extinctions (red) is crossed more frequently. This can lead to local extinction events with insufficient time between to enable recovery, resulting in long-term, irreversible changes to the composition, structure and function of natural systems. When the extreme event occurs over a large area relative to the distribution of a species (e.g., a hurricane impacting an island which is the only place a given species occurs), a single extreme event can drive the global extinction of a species.