The Guardian: Earth’s Sixth Mass Extinction Event Underway, Scientists Warn

The world’s loss of biodiversity is not proceeding at a gradual pace. Instead, a “biological annihilation” of wildlife signals that a sixth mass extinction is more severe than previously assumed, explains Damian Carrington for the Guardian. The study led by Gerardo Ceballos of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, corrects impressions that biodiversity on earth is not under immediate threat. Instead, billions of regional and local species, both rare and common are being lost. The study’s authors “blame human overpopulation and overconsumption for the crisis and warn that it threatens the survival of human civilisation, with just a short window of time in which to act,” Carrington writes. “The scientists found that a third of the thousands of species losing populations are not currently considered endangered and that up to 50% of all individual animals have been lost in recent decades. Detailed data is available for land mammals, and almost half of these have lost 80% of their range in the last century.” The scientists warn that prospects for avoiding the extinction are not good and reducing population growth is required. Earth's human population was 1.6 billion in 1900, about 7.5 billion today, and is on track to top 10 billion before the end of the century. – YaleGlobal

The Guardian: Earth's Sixth Mass Extinction Event Underway, Scientists Warn

Researchers’ stern warning: sixth mass extinction is more severe than what many have assumed: overpopulation threatens biodiversity and human survival
Damian Carrington
Thursday, July 13, 2017

Read the article.

Damian Carrington is the environment editor for the Guardian.

Read the study “Biological Annihilation via the Ongoing Sixth Mass Extinction Signaled by Vertebrate Population Losses and Declines” by Gerardo Ceballos, Paul R. Ehrlich and Rodolfo Dirzo.

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