Modern ‘sixth mass extinction’ event will be worse than first predicted, says report

By | July 27, 2023

GrrlScientist writes:

Tragically, the global mass extinction event that we find ourselves in the midst of will be even worse than originally predicted, according to a recent study (ref). The international team of scientists came to their conclusion after analyzing population trends data for more than 71,000 animal species — including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects — from around the world to see how their numbers have changed since record-keeping first began.

Generally, scientists agree that an extinction event is occurring when species vanish much faster than they are replaced. A mass extinction event is usually defined as losing 75% of the world’s species in a short period of geological time — less than 2.8 million years, according to the Natural History Museum (here).

Previous research has established that the current rates of extinction are between 1000-10,000 times higher than “background” extinction rates, which has led some scientists to argue that life on Earth has entered its sixth mass extinction event. But uniquely, when compared to the planet’s previous five mass extinction events, this is the first mass extinction event that is the result of the actions of just one species — humans. [Continue reading…]

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