Alarming research: Sixth mass extinction is here, US study

By AFP
Published: June 21, 2015
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"(The study) shows without any significant doubt that we are now entering the sixth great mass extinction event," said Paul Ehrlich, senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. PHOTO: Reuters

"(The study) shows without any significant doubt that we are now entering the sixth great mass extinction event," said Paul Ehrlich, senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. PHOTO: Reuters

MIAMI: The world is embarking on its sixth mass extinction with animals disappearing about 100 times faster than they used to, scientists warned Friday, and humans could be among the first victims.

Not since the age of the dinosaurs ended 66 million years ago has the planet been losing species at this rapid a rate, said a study led by experts at Stanford University, Princeton University and the University of California, Berkeley.

The study “shows without any significant doubt that we are now entering the sixth great mass extinction event,” said co-author Paul Ehrlich, a Stanford University professor of biology.

“If it is allowed to continue, life would take many millions of years to recover and our species itself would likely disappear early on,” said lead author Gerardo Ceballos of the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico.

The analysis is based on documented extinctions of vertebrates from fossil records and other historical data. The modern rate of species loss was compared to the “natural rates of species disappearance before human activity dominated.”

If the past rate was two mammal extinctions per 10,000 species per 100 years, then the “average rate of vertebrate species loss over the last century is up to 114 times higher than it would be without human activity,” said the study.

“We emphasise that our calculations very likely underestimate the severity of the extinction crisis because our aim was to place a realistic lower bound on humanity’s impact on biodiversity.”

Published in The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2015.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • jway
    Jun 21, 2015 - 7:05AM

    Only when there is no clean water available to us and there is no food for us to buy will we care about this. Until then it is human nature to care about our own comfort first and to exploit all that can be exploited to ensure that our wants are met.Recommend

  • Timorlane
    Jun 21, 2015 - 4:41PM

    new and most worst types of creatures are swarming this

    planet’s areas that fall within Pakistan. These creatres

    are called zardaris, altafs, isfandyars, diesels etc.

    they are severely carnivorous and are greedy

    beyond in ever satisfiedRecommend

  • Baba
    Jun 21, 2015 - 6:15PM

    Is this really news to a nation and peoples who believe in a pre-ordained finality to their end as it were. Because the great Allah has already decided the course of events that are dictated more by morality and piousness than for instance the waste of resources and the use of fossil fuel for energy among many other things? Slaughter at will on a given day to appease the great Allah yet pollute and plunder natural resources at will and you will live forever!Recommend

  • NBM
    Jun 21, 2015 - 10:39PM

    In a hundred years humans on earth will be extinct! In the next 30 years humans will begin to experience great hardship living on planet Earth.Recommend

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