New Extinction Age?

Sep 2011
24,135
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#1
I saw this today and found it interesting.

Earth 'entering new extinction phase' - US study - BBC News

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.
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.
 
Oct 2011
7,654
MARE PACIFICVM
#2
I also saw this story today. While I am beyond concerned, I do wonder how they came up with such precise numbers. For instance, how did they figure out that extinction is happening 114 times faster than normal? Surely our fossil record isn't that precise?
 

Jim Casy

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
4,420
Scotland
#3
Adam Rutherford, an evolutionary biologist, made a three part series for BBC Radio 4 a couple of years ago that is very listenable and goes into the subject in more detail in Episode 2 (of 3) I think, Brisies.

BBCiPlayer Radio/Categories/Science and Nature/Extinct.
 
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Salah

Forum Staff
Oct 2009
23,284
Maryland
#5
The bulk of the extinctions that have happened within the past 400 years were a direct result of human irresponsibility or persecution. If human beings universally respected nature, or if we were still living in Bronze Age conditions, there's no reason to believe there still wouldn't be millions of buffalo and passenger pigeons swarming across the North American continent.

This "extinction age", to whatever extent it's real, is artificial - made by human hands, rather than nature.
 

Belgarion

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,677
Australia
#6
I heard an opinion some time ago that humans will never travel in interstellar space and will also never meet another race that does. The reason, any race theoretically capable of such a feat will wipe itself out before realising its full potential.
 

Afrasiyab

Ad Honorem
Sep 2007
6,378
#7
The bulk of the extinctions that have happened within the past 400 years were a direct result of human irresponsibility or persecution. If human beings universally respected nature, or if we were still living in Bronze Age conditions, there's no reason to believe there still wouldn't be millions of buffalo and passenger pigeons swarming across the North American continent.

This "extinction age", to whatever extent it's real, is artificial - made by human hands, rather than nature.
That's why we should all go vegan.
 

Afrasiyab

Ad Honorem
Sep 2007
6,378
#8
Adam Rutherford, an evolutionary biologist, made a three part series for BBC Radio 4 a couple of years ago that is very listenable and goes into the subject in more detail in Episode 2 (of 3) I think, Brisies.

BBCiPlayer Radio/Categories/Science and Nature/Extinct.
I found it here :

BBC Radio 4 - Extinct! - Available now

But episode 1 is not working! Started with episode 2.
 
Sep 2011
24,135
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#9
Jan 2013
425
Braavos
#10
Funny actually
There was a scientist who said that the ball that started rolling. That at best we can slow it down but not stop it.

He also mentioned something like how the extinction won't be mass like the previous ones just large enough to affect humans. Ironic no? 7 billion people, they fight for their race, but they won't fight to survive their species.