6th mass extinction

Earth’s Sixth Mass Extinction Is Here

Stanford University study, shows humans have triggered sixth mass extinction of Earth’s species

Not since the vanishing of dinosaurs 65 millions years ago has the Earth seen such mass extinction of species, and in as little as two or three lifetimes, “huge amounts” of biodiversity will be lost forever, researchers predict. Because each species plays a specific role within the Earth’s ecosystem, such major loss may take the Earth millions of years to recover, say researchers.

“Our activities are causing a massive loss of species that has no precedent in the history of humanity and few precedents in the history of life on Earth,” said lead researcher Gerardo Ceballos, a professor of conservation ecology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and a visiting professor at Stanford University.

Read Study: Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction

Humans Have Destroyed 50% Of Earth’s Wildlife In The Past 40 Years

Humans Have Destroyed 50% Of Earth’s Wildlife In The Past 40 Years

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Wild animal populations on land, sea, river and air have been decimated over the past 40 years. According to a new report, 50% of all wildlife on Earth disappeared between 1970 and 2010.

This rapid, catastrophic species loss is due to human overconsumption and the destruction of habitat necessary for species survival.

According to The Guardian, researchers at the WWF and the Zoological Society…

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Earth May Be in Early Days of 6th Mass Extinction

Earth may be in the early stages of a sixth mass extinction, an international team of scientists says.

Image: Neil deGrasse Tyson walks over to ‘The Halls of Extinction’ - Cosmos: A Space time Odyssey

Animals and plants are threatened. More than 320 land vertebrates have gone extinct since 1500, the researchers said. The world’s remaining animals with backbones are 25 percent less abundant than in 1500— a trend also seen in invertebrate animals, such as crustaceans, worms and butterflies, the scientists reported.

The previous mass extinction, which wiped out the dinosaurs, happened about 65 million years ago, likely from a catastrophic asteroid that collided with Earth. In contrast, the looming sixth mass extinction is linked to human activity, Rodolfo Dirzo, a professor of biology at Stanford University in California, said in a statement. Dirzo is the lead author of the new review of past research on the topic, which suggests Earth is in the early days of this sixth mass extinction.

A past study, which involved data from the fossil record and modern-day conservation biology, suggested Earth could enter such a mass extinction within the next 300 to 2,000 years. That study was detailed in the March 2, 2011, issue of the journal Nature.

Up to one-third of all vertebrates are threatened or endangered, the researchers said. Large animals — such as elephants, rhinoceroses and polar bears — have the highest rates of decline, which is a trend shared by other mass extinctions. These large animals are at particular risk because they tend to have few offspring and low population growth rates. Hunters and poachers, however, find their fur, meat, tusks or horns attractive targets.

Losing a species of large animal can have unexpected effects on the ecosystem and nearby human developments, a process known as defaunation. In one study, researchers isolated patches of land from animals, including zebra, giraffes and elephants. Without the animals, the grass and shrubs grew tall, and the soil became looser. Rodents quickly took over and doubled in numbers, eating the seeds from the plants and living in the patchy soil that was relatively predator-free.

Rodents can carry diseases and parasites that infect people, the researchers said.

“Where human density is high, you get high rates of defaunation, high incidence of rodents and thus high levels of pathogens, which increases the risks of disease transmission,” Dirzo said. “Who would have thought that just defaunation would have all these dramatic consequences? But it can be a vicious circle.”

The decline of big animals affects not only vegetation, but also invertebrates. In the past 50 years, the human population has doubled, and the number of invertebrate animals has dropped by 45 percent, the researchers said. Much of the loss is a result of habitat destruction and global climate disruption, the researchers said.

The 6th Mass Extinction on Earth has Begun

Troubling evidence recently released by a group of scientists including Paul Ehrlich, the Bing Professor of Population Studies in biology, has  show a large increase in the number of species lost over the last century. The numbers above each bar represent the estimated values for extinct vertebrates. The image above shows that since the industrial revolution, species diversity has been rapidly declining in response to human activity including:

  • Destruction of habitats
  • Introduction of invasive species
  • Climate change
  • Destruction of ecosystems because of pollutants

Erlich and his colleagues do offer hope for the future. If rapid conservation efforts are undertaken now, then  such a dramatic ecological event can be avoided. It is more than likely that if such an even were to occur, the human race would suffer itself.

Source: ScienceAdvances

Many childfree people are actually considerate of the needs of others instead of the wants of their own. I care about the future of the planet and the lives already in it. I think parents choose to forget there’s 7 billion people already on this planet, climate change is real, and humans are the causing the 6th mass extinction. It would be selfish of me to bring a child into a world that will have to contend with this and it would be selfish of me to bring a child into a world that needs less humans in it.

An A-Z of Extinction (part ¾: N-R)

As we enter what has now been termed the 6th mass extinction on Earth, I thought we could take a closer look at the process and causes of extinctions, as well as the species that have suffered. Do you know your ABCs?

N is for the North China Plain. The North China Plain is a large alluvial plain, bordering the Yellow River, in China. Unfortunately, the plain has faced a reduction in crop yield due to unsustainable farming processes and uses of water in the area. This is certainly not the only area worldwide facing extinctions due to agricultural processes.

O is for Over-exploitation. Over-exploitation of geological, floral, and faunal resources is quickly causing harm to the Earth, and it’s ecosystems. Many organisms now face exhausted food supplies due to hunting for trophies, clothing, food, medicine, or for the tourism market.

P is for Pollution. Pollution is seen globally in the water, air, and Earth. Sadly, it’s only getting worse. When unnatural chemicals (or excess silt in marine environments) enter environments, they can change organisms metabolic processes, in the worst case, leading its death. In the air, nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds produce photo-chemical smog, as seen in the image.

Q is for Quagga. The Quagga was a species if Zebra that lived in South Africa. When the Dutch settlers went to South Africa; the Quagga was hunted in a bid to remove competition for their livestock. As of 1878 the Quagga became extinct in the wild, followed in 1883 by the death of the last Quagga in captivity.

R is for Rate. There can be no denying that the rate of extinctions has rapidly increased since the commencement of the Holocene. As of 1600AD population growth and agriculture increased contributing to the increase in the rate of extinctions. Since 1500, 77 mammals, 140 birds and 32 amphibians have become extinct. Meanwhile the natural rate of extinctions is far below this, at two species every 10,000 years.

~SA

Image: http://bit.ly/1LQFzM8 Smog over Almaty city, Kazakhstan by Igors Jefimovs
Further Reading: http://bit.ly/1C1JjL9
Part 1: http://on.fb.me/1GSV2dp
Part 2: http://on.fb.me/1BQUOod

A nice place to visit. Photo by Amber Maitrejean

”What do you think they’ll find there?” she asked as he stood transfixed, watching the ship as it sped off towards the planet.

“It’s beautiful,” he said, “Unique, unlike anything else in the entire universe. There is a vast and diverse array of life. The land in some areas is as unique unto itself as this planet is in the universe. But the dominant species has rapidly reproduced and spread all around the planet. The species is intelligent, able to do great things, but in their drive for advancement they have poisoned the planet and themselves. It is currently in its 6th mass extinction. We will continue to observe and study.”

“Do you think it will survive?” she asked.

“The planet will once the dominant species has died off,” he replied. “It will take a long time to recover after that but it will survive. Perhaps after they have gone we will be able to inhabit this planet, make it ours, and because of their failure and what we have learned, we will exist in such a way that the planet will support us indefinitely. But for now, Earth is a nice place to visit, but we wouldn’t want to live there. The dominant species would never welcome us anyway as they are unable to coexist in harmony even amongst themselves, too unwilling to accept their differences. Too unwilling to reach a common goal at the risk of their own peril.”

“How terrible for them,” she said.

“Yes, it is,” he answered. “But their loss will one day be our gain.“

HAPPY WORLD ANIMAL DAY!!! Thank you to all the animal and environmental activists around the world for doing what you do!

In the near future, I want to see cetaceans put in sea pens and eventually freed, elephant and rhino tusk poaching to stop, shark finning to stop, dolphin drives to stop, commercial whaling to stop, overfishing to stop, turtle poaching to stop, bull riding to stop, pesticides killing bees to stop, “slaughterhouses” to not be a thing and a countless number of other things! Just STOP KILLING ANIMALS! 

If we fail to do that (along with many more things) in the extremely near future (like NOW), we will be at the point of no return. The 6th mass extinction is coming.

So, happy animal day and make every day animal day <3  Animal and environmental activists are the most sane, kindest, and generous people I know and I love you all :)

 

Jim Jarmusch Interview

“There are things wrong in this world. The way people treat each other. For us human beings, time is limited on this planet. There are too many people and nature is soon going to rectify this. It is going to be difficult and tragic. We are already in the 6th mass extinction of species. We have to be very grateful for very small details of life. Like this moment here. Here we are talking about a film and it is just a ridiculous thing.”

An A-Z of Extinction (Part ¼: A-F)

As we enter what has now been termed the 6th mass extinction on Earth, I thought we could take a closer look at the process and causes of extinctions, as well as the species that have suffered. Do you know your ABCs?

A is for Acid Rain.

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