Jul 12, 2017

You wouldn’t think that it would be possible but apparently, it’s already happening. A study by Stanford University biologists found that the Earth has entered an era of mass extinction—like the time when dinosaurs went extinct around 66 million years ago. Try to wrap your head around that.

More than 30 percent of vertebrate species are dwindling in population size and range. Range is the amount of space where animals can live and hunt in. According to scientists, different factors contribute to the phenomenon including climate change, habitat loss, invasive organisms, overexploitation, toxification, and pollution.

There are as few as 20,000 lions left in the wild, 500 to 1,000 giant pandas, and around 250 Sumatran rhinoceros.

A “biological annihilation”

Scientists point out the importance of biodiversity. Animals play a big role in our environment, even the smallest ones like bees and how they pollinate flowers so plants can spread. “The resulting biological annihilation obviously will have serious ecological, economic, and social consequences. Humanity will eventually pay a very high price for the decimation of the only assemblage of life that we know of in the universe.”

What’s more worrisome is that we, humans, are the main cause of this incoming disaster. “Human overpopulation and continued population growth, and overconsumption, especially by the rich,” says professor Paul Ehrlich of Stanford University.

This is the sixth mass extinction our planet is witnessing and is said to be “more severe than perceived when looking exclusively at species extinctions.”

 

A more in-depth look at the sixth extinction courtesy of It’s Okay To Be Smart on YouTube:

 

Images courtesy of Unsplash.com

Based on the study conducted by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

TAGS: animals life mass extinction nolisoliph overpopulation pollution sixth mass extinction wildlife