unilad
Advert

Earth Getting Closer To ‘Sixth Mass Extinction’, Study Finds

by : Shola Lee on :
'Sixth Mass Extinction' Is Currently Underway On Earth, Study FindsAlamy

A new study has suggested Earth is currently heading towards its sixth mass extinction of the planet’s biodiversity.

The study builds on previous warnings that species on our planet have been dying off at an alarming rate.

Advert

There have been five extinction events in Earth’s history; these are events that are signified by mass biodiversity loss because of extreme natural occurrences.

Monkeys (Pxfuel)Pxfuel

The study, published in the Biological Reviews journal, focussed on marine life as well as birds and mammals. Taking molluscs as an example and, ‘extrapolating boldly’, estimated that ‘since around AD 1500, possibly as many as 7.5–13% (150,000–260,000) of all ~2 million known species have already gone extinct’.

Robert Cowie, lead author of the study from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, spoke about the findings and explained how the rate of species extinction was accelerating.

Advert

He said:

Drastically increased rates of species extinctions and declining abundances of many animal and plant populations are well documented, yet some deny that these phenomena amount to mass extinction.

According to the researchers, this crisis isn’t being taken seriously.

The study suggests that people’s current view of the crisis is only focusing on the extinction of mammals and birds, which is occurring at a less rapid rate than the extinction of invertebrates.

Advert

The researchers spoke of the bias in the study:

Often, they use the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List to support their stance, arguing that the rate of species loss does not differ from the background rate. However, the Red List is heavily biased: almost all birds and mammals but only a minute fraction of invertebrates have been evaluated against conservation criteria.

Invertebrates include insects and their extinction seems less likely to be paid attention to by the general public.

Advert

The study added:

Thus the numbers assessed as Extinct on the Red List are under-estimates, and inappropriate to use to estimate true levels of extinction.

The Red List that researchers are referring to currently estimates that around 900 species have gone extinct. However, researchers suggest the true number is between 150,000 and 260,000 since the year 1500.

Last Two Animals Freed From 'World's Worst Zoo'PA Images
Advert
Science

Ancient Supernova Caused Mass Extinction On Earth, Scientists Believe

published at2 years ago

According to the study, land species, particularly island species are dying off at faster rates than continental species.

While some continue to insist that extinction is just part of the earth’s natural cycle, the researchers have added that this stops people from taking responsibility.

‘Denying the crisis, accepting it and doing nothing about it, or embracing it and manipulating it for the fickle benefit of people, defined no doubt by politicians and business interests, is an abrogation of moral responsibility,’ they said.

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

Most Read StoriesMost Read

Technology

Family Sues Apple After AirPods Allegedly Cause Son’s Eardrums To Burst

Shola Lee

Shola Lee began her journalism career while studying for her undergraduate degree at Queen Mary, University of London and Columbia University in New York. She has written for the Columbia Spectator, QM Global Bloggers, CUB Magazine, UniDays, and Warner Brothers' Wizarding World Digital. Recently, Shola took part in the 2021 BAFTA Crew and BBC New Creatives programme before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news, trending stories, and features.

Topics: Science, Earth, Extinction, species

Credits

Independent
  1. Independent

    Study confirms sixth mass extinction is currently underway, caused by humans