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‘Ghastly Future Of Mass Extinction’ And Climate Disruption Coming, Warn Top Scientists

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 13 Jan 2021 18:47
'Ghastly Future Of Mass Extinction' And Climate Disruption Coming, Warn Top Scientists Pixabay/JennyHuang/Flickr

Scientists have warned once again about the devastating impact global warming could have on our planet. 

A new report describes the planet as facing a ‘ghastly future of mass extinction, declining health and climate-disruption upheavals’.

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The international group of 17 experts who took part in the report also dub human ignorance and lack of action on the potential threat to our survival.

Climate changePA

In the report titled Underestimating the Challenges of Avoiding a Ghastly Future published in Frontiers in Conservation Science January 13, scientists point out three ‘major and confronting environmental issues’ that haven’t received enough attention and that need immediate action.

One thing they review is Earth’s future environmental conditions being ‘far more dangerous’ than currently thought. The second is the scientists asking ‘what political or economic system, or leadership, is prepared to handle the predicted disasters, or even capable of such action’.

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The third thing that’s reported is the current situation we’re facing placing ‘extraordinary responsibility on scientists’ to speak out about what’s going on when engaging with government, business, and the public.

Part of it reads:

The added stresses to human health, wealth, and well-being will perversely diminish our political capacity to mitigate the erosion of ecosystem services on which society depends.

The science underlying these issues is strong, but awareness is weak. Without fully appreciating and broadcasting the scale of the problems and the enormity of the solutions required, society will fail to achieve even modest sustainability goals.

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The scientists also go on to discuss a sixth mass extinction, something which is defined ‘as a loss of [approximately] 75% of all species on the planet over a geologically short interval—generally anything [less than] 3 million years’.

Since the Cambrian explosion 541 million years ago, at least five major extinction events have occurred, according to the report, with the most recent being 66 million years ago.

However, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates that even more extinctions may happen over the next few decades.

The survey explains:

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The IUCN estimates that some 20% of all species are in danger of extinction over the next few decades, which greatly exceeds the background rate. That we are already on the path of a sixth major extinction is now scientifically undeniable.

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In regards to Earth’s climate disruption, an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report from 2018 is cited predicting at least a 1.5°C warming between 2030 and 2052. As it stands, civilisation has already exceeded a global warming of around 1.0°C above pre-industrial conditions.

The report goes on to say that the planet’s current greenhouse gas concentrations sit at more than 500 parts per million, but, if we got this to just 450 parts per million, this would give Earth a 66% chance of not exceeding a 2°C warming.

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There are several things we can all do to help save the planet that are extremely easy; from going vegetarian once a week, to using LED bulbs. We can all affect change.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: News, Climate Change, Earth, Global Warming, survey

Credits

The Guardian and 1 other
  1. The Guardian

    Top scientists warn of 'ghastly future of mass extinction' and climate disruption

  2. Frontiers in Conservation Science

    Underestimating the Challenges of Avoiding a Ghastly Future