Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome, or an entire planet. Biodiversity is a measure of the health of ecosystems. Greater biodiversity implies greater health. Biodiversity is in part a function of climate. In terrestrial habitats, tropical regions are typically rich whereas polar regions support fewer species.
Rapid environmental changes typically cause extinctions. One estimate is that less than 1% of the species that have existed on Earth are extant.