Saturday, June 20, 2015

Start of Earth’s mass extinction ‘already triggered’

Humans have already triggered the start of Earth’s sixth mass extinction, thereby threatening their own future as a species, a hard-hitting new study has claimed.


The window of opportunity to prevent the worst diversity disaster since dinosaurs were swept from the planet 65 million years ago is “rapidly closing”, warn the authors.

In the last century vertebrates have been disappearing at a rate 114 times higher than would normally be expected without the destructive influence of humans, according to the scientists, who insist their analysis is “extremely conservative”.

If the current pace of extinction is allowed to continue, species loss will have a significant effect on human populations in as little as three generations, it is claimed.

Once the damage is done, it could take millions of years for nature to recover, said the researchers.

They pointed out that since 1900, over 400 more vertebrates than expected had vanished. The lost animals included 69 mammal, 80 bird, 24 reptile, 146 amphibian and 158 fish species.

Today, the spectre of extinction hung over 26 per cent of all mammalian species and 41 per cent of all amphibians..................Start of Earth’s mass extinction ‘already triggered’


20/6/15

1 comment:

  1. A new mass extinction could be underway, researchers say...

    Sixty-five million years ago, the dinosaurs disappeared in what's known as the Earth's fifth mass extinction. Today, a sixth mass extinction could be well underway and humans are the likely culprit, according to new research published in Science Advances.

    The past five mass extinctions on Earth were caused by large-scale natural disasters like meteors or enormous chains of volcanic eruptions, wiping out between half and 96% of all living species.

    But the modern mass extinction isn't being caused by a freak act of nature, the researchers say. It's being caused by man-made changes to the environment including deforestation, poaching, overfishing and global-warming, and it's proving to be just as deadly.

    Recently, species like the Emperor Rat, the Desert Rat Kangaroo, the Yangtze River Dolphin, the Skunk Frog and the Chinese Paddlefish, amongst hundreds of others, are believed to have become extinct.............http://edition.cnn.com/2015/06/20/world/mass-extinction-animals/index.html

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