The planet is entering a new period of extinction, with top scientists warning that species all over the world are “essentially the walking dead” – including our own. Uh oh!
A report called ‘Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction‘ by top scientists and proffesors Gerardo Ceballos, Paul R. Ehrlich, Anthony D. Barnosky,Andrés García, Robert M. Pringle and Todd M. Palmer has brought to light some pretty interesting findings about the extinction of the human race.
“We are now entering the sixth great mass extinction event,” one of the authors of the paper told theBBC.
Researchers note that the last similar event was 65 million years ago, when the dinosaurs disappeared.
Professor Gerardo Ceballos (above), was lead author of the report. His work has been diverse, he is a major figure in global conservation science, carrying out strenuous field work testing ideas in countryside biogeography and doing important theoretical/practical work on the global distributions of mammals and their significance, he started the Long Term Ecological Research Network Chapter in Mexico, and has the longest (22 years) population and community ecology study of small mammals in the Neotropics.
About the report, he has scarily stated that “If it is allowed to continue, life would take many millions of years to recover and our species itself would likely disappear early on“.
Again, uh oh!
The research examined historic rates of extinction for vertebrates, finding that since 1900 more than 400 vertebrates have disappeared – an extinction rate 100 times higher than in other periods.
“There are examples of species all over the world that are essentially the walking dead,” said Stanford University professor Paul Ehrlich. Ehrlich was awarded the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement in 1998, became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2012, and was given the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in 2013 before taking on this report.
He added: “We are sawing off the limb that we are sitting on.”
The research, which cites climate change, pollution and deforestation as causes for the rapid change, notes that a knock-on effect of the loss of entire ecosystems could be dire.
Well. We’ll just just start saying our goodbyes then.
Sceptical? Us too. Make sure to have a read of the report, and check out the backgrounds of the some of the scientists (we’ve provided links at the top of the article.)
What do you think? Let us know in the comments
Read their full report here
Source: ‘Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction‘ byGerardo Ceballos, Paul R. Ehrlich, Anthony D. Barnosky, Andrés García, Robert M. Pringle and Todd M. Palmer