Tuesday, 3 June 2014

We are in the midst of a sixth mass extinction

Plant and animal species become extinct 1,000 times faster than it did before the advent of humans, and the world is on the brink of the sixth great extinction, says a new study.

The researchers looked at the speed of extinction in the past and the present, and concluded that in the past it was much smaller than previously thought. Species of today are disappearing from the face of the Earth 10 times faster than biologists believe, said study leader biologist Stuart Pim from Duke University. 
"We are on the verge of the sixth great extinction. Whether we can avoid it or not depends solely on us ," said Pim. This work is considered a key study by other experts who agree with his conclusion.

Pim study focused on speed rather than the number of species that disappear and come to the annual number of extinctions, for a total of one million. Pim 1995 discovered that the rate of extinction was 1 before the arrival of people, but after his studies, he and colleagues have concluded that it was 0.1. 

Numerous factors influence the rapid extinction of species, but the first is loss of habitat. Plant and animal species are unable to find a new habitat due to human population expansion.

A large part of the flora and fauna so far has been destroyed five times, and those disappearances were almost always related to the impact of large meteors. Approximately 66 million years ago such extinction wiped out the dinosaurs and three of the four species on Earth. 252 million years ago, mass extinction led to the disappearance of 90 percent of the world's plant and animal species.  

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