New reports from researchers have shown that the Earth is rapidly approaching the sixth mass extinction. This is evidenced by the huge number of animal species that are currently on the verge of extinction.
David Storch, Professor of Ecology at Charles University in Prague thinksthat the current rate of extinction of living organisms is at least twice the natural rate of extinction. The main reason for this acceleration is the sharp deterioration of the climatic situation around the world, which threatens billions of species.
However, one should not think that the process of extinction of species will be noticeable on the scale of one, two or even three generations of people. According to Storch, this could take millions of years, and so far man is only at the very beginning of this destructive path.
Kunio Kaiho, an employee of the Japanese University of Tohoku, has a different opinion. He discovered proportional relationship between the average temperature of the Earth’s surface and biodiversity in nature. The scientist notes that in order to understand the rate at which species will disappear, it is necessary to measure the “background rate of extinction.” The acceptable limit is 5-10% of dying species per million years of life on Earth. And anything above 10% threatens with more tragic consequences. And while humanity has a chance to rectify the situation, since the dangerous line has not yet been passed, Kaiho noted.
Since its formation, our planet has experienced five large-scale disasters that have led to the extinction of most species of the living world. Each of the extinction periods lasted approximately 2.8 million years – very little compared to the 4.5 billion years of the Earth’s history.
Once the most dangerous threat to the planet and its biodiversity was a giant asteroid that destroyed 76% of all species in the world, including dinosaurs, about 65 million years ago, now man is dooming life on the planet on his own, changing the environment and provoking climate change.
Today, world leaders, environmental scientists and environmental activists are trying to keep the increase in the average temperature on Earth within one and a half degrees. And the failure of this mission will lead to a variety of consequences. One of the most devastating could be the melting of the planet’s ice sheet and a significant rise in sea level – at least half a meter by 2100.