Scientists Warn Earth ‘Entering New Extinction Phase’ – Time to Heed the Warnings

Can we heed the warnings & avert disaster? YES say scientists, ‘through intensive conservation, but rapid action is needed’. 

The dried out sea bed of the Soyang River in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, northeastern South Korea, 16 June 2015
Climate change and deforestation are among the reasons we may be facing an extinction event

Original article here. © BBC

The Earth has entered a new period of extinction, a study by three US universities has concluded, and humans could be among the first casualties.

The report, led by the universities of Stanford, Princeton and Berkeley, said vertebrates were disappearing at a rate 114 times faster than normal.

The findings echo those in a report published by Duke University last year.

One of the new study‘s authors said: “We are now entering the sixth great mass extinction event.”

The last such event was 65 million years ago, when dinosaurs were wiped out, in all likelihood by a large meteor hitting Earth.

“If it is allowed to continue, life would take many millions of years to recover and our species itself would likely disappear early on,” said the lead author, Gerardo Ceballos.

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Pollination by bees could disappear within three generations, the report warns

The scientists looked at historic rates of extinction for vertebrates – animals with backbones – by assessing fossil records.

They found that the current extinction rate was more than 100 times higher than in periods when Earth was not going through a mass extinction event.

Since 1900, the report says, more than 400 more vertebrates had disappeared.

Such a loss would normally be seen over a period of up to 10,000 years, the scientists say.

The study – published in the Science Advances journal – cites causes such as climate change, pollution and deforestation.

Given the knock-on effect of ecosystems being destroyed, the report says benefits such as pollination by bees could be lost within three human generations.

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Extinction may be more gradual than when the dinosaurs died, the report says

Stanford University professor Paul Ehrlich said: “There are examples of species all over the world that are essentially the walking dead.

“We are sawing off the limb that we are sitting on.”

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) says at least 50 animals move closer to extinction every year.

Around 41% of all amphibians and 25% of mammals are threatened with extinction, it says.

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Most at risk: the lemur

According to the IUCN, the lemur faces a real struggle to avoid extinction in the wild in the coming years.

The group says that 94% of all lemurs are under threat, with more than a fifth of all lemur species classed as “critically endangered”.

As well as seeing their habitat in Madagascar destroyed by illegal logging, lemurs are also regularly hunted for their meat, the IUCN says.

What were the five mass extinction events?

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Last year, a report by Stuart Pimm, a biologist and extinction expert at Duke University in North Carolina, also warned mankind was entering a sixth mass extinction event.

But Mr Pimm’s report said the current rate of extinction was more than 1,000 times faster than in the past, not 114, as the new report claims.

The new report’s authors said it was still possible to avoid a “dramatic decay of biodiversity” through intensive conservation, but that rapid action was needed.

Original article here. © BBC

 

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Posted in Activism, Awareness, Environment, Preserve the Planet, Uncategorized
3 comments on “Scientists Warn Earth ‘Entering New Extinction Phase’ – Time to Heed the Warnings
  1. Hariod Brawn says:

    There is the will of the people, and then there is the will of the politicians. I wonder, can the two reconcile such that what needs to be done in time, shall be done in time?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. calensariel says:

    Truly scary stuff, but little by little I think people are beginning to see the truth of it. Let’s hope it’s not too late when they do!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Emma Tuzzio says:

      I agree, people are starting to open their eyes to whats really going on although slowly, and somewhat reluctantly, but denial still very much reigns among the masses! The truth is hard to take, and people feel powerless to help, which is why through my blog I want to suggest ways we can make a difference, however small. The only thing about this article is that it doesn’t provide SOLUTIONS – which is what my blog is all about – empowering people to take action & avert disaster. When I get some time I will add a ‘What can we do’ part to the post and suggest new green innovations such as the amazing new fungi discovered to eat plastics! and other natural solutions such as hemp for reducing radiation. I’ve watch enough lectures & documentaries from leading scientists to know that solutions to world problems DO exist, although they’re being suppressed, but with enough public backing, and raising of awareness – then they will be unveiled in due time. Sooner rather than later I hope!!

      Like

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I'm Emma; Just meandering through life on the road less travelled. Treading lightly on this beautiful planet, sewing seeds of inspiration, hope and grace.
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