This is an interesting question and probably does not have an exact correct answer. It of course depends on your perspective. If the earth took a dramatic swing in temperature one way or another we would likely lose a lot of species and potentially upset the food chain. However, from the perspective of the ocean and its ability to dissolve gasses such as carbon dioxide it is better for the water temperature to be colder. As the ocean temperature rises, it cannot dissolve as much carbon dioxide and therefore can help add to the cycle of global warming.
Increases in temperatures cause the sea level to rise and flood a lot of plant life on low land islands, which threatens life all the way up the food chain. Warmer climates can also be detrimental to plant life that is accustomed to cooler temperatures.
Life exists on earth because a fragile balance of factors; thcomposition of the sun, the earths distance from it, the chemical propoerties of water and atmospheric gasses, the carbon cycles, the climatic cycles, etc.
When tempratures get too far from the average, dramtic losses of biodiversity occur, lands ar frozen or flooded, ecosystems transfor, weather mold and shift into new patterns. I think that, all said, roughly the same loss of life would occur if the planets temperatures swung in either direction. Maybe upwards of 95% of species would go extinct in either case.
It would be better if Gaia could retain its capacity to regulate the planetery system to harbor life, without the devastating (and often unforseen) impacts of an evermore global human civilization.
For the most part, 6 of one half a dozen of another. As pipicuslamb stated, Life exists because of a fragile balance of factors. A change to the equation in either direction can cause destruction. However, as jbenjami points out, an increase in temperature causes flooding while a decrease in temperature can lead to freezing. I think Life tends to withstand freezing and thawing (somewhat) and can endure these conditions, though not consistently. Hypothermia quickly becomes an issue.
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