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Scientists say we're entering Earth's sixth mass extinction

04-08-2016, 06:38 PM #1
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Quote:It’s official: scientists say we're entering Earth's sixth mass extinction
And humans may struggle to survive it.

Biologists have used conservative new estimates to prove that vertebrate species on Earth are disappearing faster than at any time since the extinction of the dinosaurs, and humans are now at risk of being wiped out.

"[The study] shows without any significant doubt that we are now entering the sixth great mass extinction event," one of the researchers, Paul Ehrlich from Stanford University in the US, said in a press release. Even worse, the research shows that we triggered the event ourselves.

 Although many biologists have long believed that Earth is in the middle of a major extinction event, skeptics have argued that estimates were overstating how fast species were being wiped out as a result of inconsistent data.

Scientists work out whether we're in a major extinction event by comparing the current extinction rate to the background extinction rate - the rate at which you'd expect species to normally disappear.
By looking only at well-verified data and fossil records of vertebrates - our best-studied group of organisms - the new research came up with a background extinction rate that's twice as high as previous estimates.

But even using this background rate and the most conservative species loss estimates, the researchers found that animals are still being wiped out around 15 to 100 times faster than they should be - in fact, the rate of species loss hasn't been this high since the dinosaurs disappeared 65 million years ago.

"Rather than the nine extinctions among vertebrates that would be expected to have occurred in normal geological circumstances since 1900, their conservative estimate adds in another 468 extinctions, spread among mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish," Jan Zalasiewizc writes for The Guardian.

At this rate, the team estimates that around 41 percent of all amphibian species and 26 percent of all mammals will be wiped out.

Such dramatic biodiversity loss will also put humans in danger within just three generations, the team estimates, particularly if we also lose crucial pollinators such as the honeybee.
"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 one of the lead researchers, Gerardo Ceballos from the Universidad Autónoma de México. 

"We are sawing off the limb that we are sitting on," added Ehrlich.
The researchers also found that the main culprit for this mass extinction isn't a major event such as a volcanic eruptions or meteor strike. Instead, it's human activity. The researchers found the following four activities had been particularly damaging:
  • Land clearing for farming, logging and settlement
  • Introduction of invasive species
  • Carbon emissions that drive climate change and ocean acidification
  • Toxins that alter and poison ecosystems
"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," the researchers write in the journal Science Advances, where their results are published. 

But it's not all bad news - the researchers remarked that we could still avoid such steep biodiversity loss through intense conservation action. "But that window of opportunity is rapidly closing," they conclude.

Earth's sixth mass extinction

From National geographic

Quote:Will Humans Survive the Sixth Great Extinction?

Species are disappearing at an alarming rate, a new study finds. Author Elizabeth Kolbert says that raises questions about our survival.

In the last half-billion years, life on Earth has been nearly wiped out five times—by such things as climate change, an intense ice age, volcanoes, and that space rock that smashed into the Gulf of Mexico 65 million years ago, obliterating the dinosaurs and a bunch of other species. These events are known as the Big Five mass extinctions, and all signs suggest we are now on the precipice of a sixth.

Except this time, we have no one but ourselves to blame. According to a study published last week in Science Advances, the current extinction rate could be more than 100 times higher than normal—and that’s only taking into account the kinds of animals we know the most about. Earth’s oceans and forests host an untold number of species, many of which will probably disappear before we even get to know them. (See pictures of 10 of the earth's rarest animals.)

Journalist Elizabeth Kolbert’s book The Sixth Extinction won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction. We talked with her about what these new results might reveal for the future of life on this planet.  Is there any chance we can put the brakes on this massive loss of life? Are humans destined to become casualties of our own environmental recklessness?

The new study that's generated so much conversation estimates that as many as three-quarters of animal species could be extinct within several human lifetimes, which sounds incredibly alarming.

Yes. That study is looking at very well-studied groups of animals. They restricted themselves to vertebrates—like mammals and birds and reptiles and amphibians—and said, OK, let’s look at what is actually happening. And they document pretty compellingly that extinction rates were already extremely elevated in [the year] 1500, and are just getting worse and worse.

They’re very high figures, and people are kind of getting inured to it. Kids who are born 10, 20 years ago—they’ve grown up their whole lives with these numbers. They don’t really think, OK, well that really is fantastically unusual. (Read about a study that says extinction rates are a thousand times higher because of humans.)

People have been debating whether we really are in the throes of a sixth mass extinction. What is your opinion?

To be honest, that’s one of those debates where I think we’re focusing on the wrong thing. By the time we have definitive answers to that question, it’s possible three-quarters of all species on Earth could be gone. We really don’t want to get to the point where we definitively can answer that question.

What is clear, and what is beyond dispute, is that we are living in a time of very, very elevated extinction rates, on the order that you would see in a mass extinction, though a mass extinction might take many thousands of years to play out.

Are there habitats or species—or groups of animals that you think are especially vulnerable to the changes that are going on?

Island populations are very vulnerable to extinctions for a couple of reasons. They tend to have been isolated. One of the things we’re doing is removing the barriers that used to keep island species isolated. New Zealand had no terrestrial mammals. Species that had evolved in the absence of such predators were incredibly vulnerable. A staggering number of bird species have already been lost on New Zealand, and a lot of those that remain are in deep trouble.

So, places that have been isolated for a long time. Those are very vulnerable. Species that have a very restricted range, that exist only in one spot in the world, those tend to be extremely vulnerable. They have nowhere to go and if their habitat is destroyed, say, then they’re gone.

The human component of this story—the fact that we  appear to be responsible for the sixth extinction—what is some of the best evidence for our involvement?

I don’t think there’s any dispute that we are responsible for the elevated extinction rates we see now. There are very few, if any, extinctions that we know about in the last 100 years that would have taken place without human activity. I have never heard anyone argue, “oh extinction rates, that’s just a natural thing that would have happened with or without humans.” It’s just pretty much impossible to argue that.

If we’re pulling the trigger, what did we load the gun with?

There are thousands and thousands of scientific articles that have been written about this. We loaded it with simply hunting. We brought in invasive species. We are now changing the climate, very, very rapidly, by geological standards. We are changing the chemistry of all the oceans. We are changing the surface of the planet. We cut down forests, we plant mono-culture agriculture, which is not good for a lot of species. We’re overfishing. The list goes on and on.
There’s no shortage of bullets. We have a pretty big arsenal right now. (Read about which animals are likely to go extinct first due to climate change.)

Is it still possible for us to slow down the loss of life?

All of the ways that we’re changing the planet that we just discussed—in each case, I could point to a library’s worth of reports suggesting how we could do things better. Just take dead zones in the ocean as one tiny little example. We could change fertilizer regimens in all sorts of ways. We dump nitrogen on fields in the Midwest and the fertilizer runs down the Mississippi and into the Gulf of Mexico, and that causes these dead zones.

The sort of fundamental question is, can 7.3 —going toward 8, going to 9 billion people —live on this planet with all of the species that are now still around? Or are we on a collision course, in part because we consume a lot of resources that other creatures also would like to consume? That’s a question I can’t answer.

The other five mass extinctions – how long did it take the planet to recover from those?

To get to the previous level of biodiversity, it seems to take several million years.

So it’s possible that from now on, humans might never actually live in a world that is not in some state of recovery from a major extinction event, if not in the midst of one.

Yes. If you give vertebrate species (and we are another vertebrate species) an average lifetime of a million years, and you say humans are 200,000 years into their million years, and you precipitate a mass extinction—even laying aside the question of whether humans will be the victim of their own mass extinction—you can’t expect that same species to be around by the time the planet has recovered.

That is an interesting question you just mentioned—will humans be the victim of their own mass extinction?
I don’t want to claim that we can’t survive the loss of many, many species. We’ve already proved that we actually can. We’re very adaptable. But I think the bottom line is, you wouldn’t want to find out.

There are two questions that arise: One is, OK, just because we’ve survived the loss of X number of species, can we keep going down the same trajectory, or do we eventually imperil the systems that keep people alive? That’s a very big and incredibly serious question.

And then there’s another question. Even if we can survive, is that the world you want to live in? Is that the world you want all future generations of humans to live in? That’s a different question. But they’re both extremely serious. I would say they really couldn’t be more serious.

National geographic


It’s frightening but true: Our planet is now in the midst of its sixth mass extinction of plants and animals — the sixth wave of extinctions in the past half-billion years. We’re currently experiencing the worst spate of species die-offs since the loss of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Although extinction is a natural phenomenon, it occurs at a natural “background” rate of about one to five species per year. Scientists estimate we’re now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the background rate, with literally dozens going extinct every day [1]. It could be a scary future indeed, with as many as 30 to 50 percent of all species possibly heading toward extinction by mid-century [2].

Unlike past mass extinctions, caused by events like asteroid strikes, volcanic eruptions, and natural climate shifts, the current crisis is almost entirely caused by us — humans. In fact, 99 percent of currently threatened species are at risk from human activities, primarily those driving habitat loss, introduction of exotic species, and global warming [3]. Because the rate of change in our biosphere is increasing, and because every species’ extinction potentially leads to the extinction of others bound to that species in a complex ecological web, numbers of extinctions are likely to snowball in the coming decades as ecosystems unravel.

Species diversity ensures ecosystem resilience, giving ecological communities the scope they need to withstand stress. Thus while conservationists often justifiably focus their efforts on species-rich ecosystems like rainforests and coral reefs — which have a lot to lose — a comprehensive strategy for saving biodiversity must also include habitat types with fewer species, like grasslands, tundra, and polar seas — for which any loss could be irreversibly devastating. And while much concern over extinction focuses on globally lost species, most of biodiversity’s benefits take place at a local level, and conserving local populations is the only way to ensure genetic diversity critical for a species’ long-term survival.

In the past 500 years, we know of approximately 1,000 species that have gone extinct, from the woodland bison of West Virginia and Arizona’s Merriam’s elk to the Rocky Mountain grasshopper, passenger pigeon and Puerto Rico’s Culebra parrot — but this doesn’t account for thousands of species that disappeared before scientists had a chance to describe them [4]. Nobody really knows how many species are in danger of becoming extinct. Noted conservation scientist David Wilcove estimates that there are 14,000 to 35,000 endangered species in the United States, which is 7 to 18 percent of U.S. flora and fauna. The IUCN has assessed roughly 3 percent of described species and identified 16,928 species worldwide as being threatened with extinction, or roughly 38 percent of those assessed. In its latest four-year endangered species assessment, the IUCN reports that the world won’t meet a goal of reversing the extinction trend toward species depletion by 2010 [5].

What’s clear is that many thousands of species are at risk of disappearing forever in the coming decades.


No group of animals has a higher rate of endangerment than amphibians. Scientists estimate that a third or more of all the roughly 6,300 known species of amphibians are at risk of extinction [6]. The current amphibian extinction rate may range from 25,039 to 45,474 times the background extinction rate [7].

Frogs, toads, and salamanders are disappearing because of habitat loss, water and air pollution, climate change, ultraviolet light exposure, introduced exotic species, and disease. Because of their sensitivity to environmental changes, vanishing amphibians should be viewed as the canary in the global coal mine, signaling subtle yet radical ecosystem changes that could ultimately claim many other species, including humans.


Birds occur in nearly every habitat on the planet and are often the most visible and familiar wildlife to people across the globe. As such, they provide an important bellwether for tracking changes to the biosphere. Declining bird populations across most to all habitats confirm that profound changes are occurring on our planet in response to human activities.

A 2009 report on the state of birds in the United States found that 251 (31 percent) of the 800 species in the country are of conservation concern [8]. Globally, BirdLife International estimates that 12 percent of known 9,865 bird species are now considered threatened, with 192 species, or 2 percent, facing  an “extremely high risk” of extinction in the wild — two more species than in 2008. Habitat loss and degradation have caused most of the bird declines, but the impacts of invasive species and capture by collectors play a big role, too.


Increasing demand for water, the damming of rivers throughout the world, the dumping and accumulation of various pollutants, and invasive species make aquatic ecosystems some of the most threatened on the planet; thus, it’s not surprising that there are many fish species that are endangered in both freshwater and marine habitats.

The American Fisheries Society identified 700 species of freshwater or anadromous fish in North America as being imperiled, amounting to 39 percent of all such fish on the continent [9]. In North American marine waters, at least 82 fish species are imperiled. Across the globe, 1,851 species of fish —  21 percent of all fish species evaluated —  were deemed at risk of extinction by the IUCN in 2010, including more than a third of sharks and rays.


Invertebrates, from butterflies to mollusks to earthworms to corals, are vastly diverse — and though no one knows just how many invertebrate species exist, they’re estimated to account for about 97 percent of the total species of animals on Earth [10]. Of the 1.3 million known invertebrate species, the IUCN has evaluated about 9,526 species, with about 30 percent of the species evaluated at risk of extinction. Freshwater invertebrates are severely threatened by water pollution, groundwater withdrawal, and water projects, while a large number of invertebrates of notable scientific significance have become either endangered or extinct due to deforestation, especially because of the rapid destruction of tropical rainforests. In the ocean, reef-building corals are declining at an alarming rate: 2008’s first-ever comprehensive global assessment of these animals revealed that a third of reef-building corals are threatened.

Perhaps one of the most striking elements of the present extinction crisis is the fact that the majority of our closest relatives — the primates — are severely endangered. About 90 percent of primates — the group that contains monkeys, lemurs, lorids, galagos, tarsiers, and apes (as well as humans) — live in tropical forests, which are fast disappearing. The IUCN estimates that almost 50 percent of the world’s primate species are at risk of extinction. Overall, the IUCN estimates that half the globe’s 5,491 known mammals are declining in population and a fifth are clearly at risk of disappearing forever with no less than 1,131 mammals across the globe classified as endangered, threatened, or vulnerable. In addition to primates, marine mammals — including several species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises — are among those mammals slipping most quickly toward extinction.

Through photosynthesis, plants provide the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat and are thus the foundation of most life on Earth. They’re also the source of a majority of medicines in use today. Of the more than 300,000 known species of plants, the IUCN has evaluated only 12,914 species, finding that about 68 percent of evaluated plant species are threatened with extinction.

Unlike animals, plants can’t readily move as their habitat is destroyed, making them particularly vulnerable to extinction. Indeed, one study found that habitat destruction leads to an “extinction debt,” whereby plants that appear dominant will disappear over time because they aren’t able to disperse to new habitat patches [11]. Global warming is likely to substantially exacerbate this problem. Already, scientists say, warming temperatures are causing quick and dramatic changes in the range and distribution of plants around the world. With plants making up the backbone of ecosystems and the base of the food chain, that’s very bad news for all species, which depend on plants for food, shelter, and survival.


Globally, 21 percent of the total evaluated reptiles in the world are deemed endangered or vulnerable to extinction by the IUCN — 594 species — while in the United States, 32 reptile species are at risk, about 9 percent of the total. Island reptile species have been dealt the hardest blow, with at least 28 island reptiles having died out since 1600. But scientists say that island-style extinctions are creeping onto the mainlands because human activities fragment continental habitats, creating “virtual islands” as they isolate species from one another, preventing interbreeding and hindering populations’ health. The main threats to reptiles are habitat destruction and the invasion of nonnative species, which prey on reptiles and compete with them for habitat and food.

The extinction crisis

All things are connected.
Whatever befalls the Earth
Befalls the sons and daughters of the Earth.
Humankind did not weave the web of live,
We are merely a strand in it.
Whatever we do to the web,
We do to ourselves.
-Chief Seattle

Climate warming
  • Average increase of Earth's average surface temperature has risen by 0.6%
  • Scientists predict 1.4C-5.8% increase in this century
  • without atmosphere, Earth's temperature would be 33c colder and would nit support life as we know it
  • some solar(radiant) energy absorbed by surface is re-emitted and absorbed in the atmosphere. Without the atmosphere, all of the heat would escape (some heat escaping is good otherwise Earth's temperature would be too hot)
  • absorption of energy by atmosphere known as natural green house effect
  • greenhouse gases (CO2, methane, N2O) enhance the greenhouse effect
  • due to the greenhouse gases we are injecting into the atmosphere, our planet is unquestionably getting warmer = GLOBAL WARMING and will have serious consequences
Water Vapour is a natural greenhouse gas

Carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • most abundant greenhouse gas contributing to the enhancement greenhouse effect
  • Carbon Sinks: carbon stored in the ocean, trees and permafrost
  • Deforestation, decomposition of organic matter, burning fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) are releasing carbon from the carbon sinks and increasing atmospheric C)2 by 31% from 1750-2002
Methane (CH4)
  • important part of enhanced greenhouse effect because it has global warming potential 21X that of CO2
  • Methane has increase by 146% since 1800
  • 75%of methane emissions come from HUMAN ACTIVITIES
  • Methane gas is released from natural gas pipelines, rice paddies, landfill sites and digestive tract of cattle
Nitrous Oxide (N2O)
  • Global warming potential 300X that CO2
  • Nitrous oxide released when fossil fuels and wood are burned at very high temperatures
  • Also released when soil bacteria chemically alter nitrogen-containing fertilizers
  • Analysis of ice core samples from Greenland and Antarctica (and atmospheric data from the last few decades) led scientists to conclude that these greenhouse gases have increased significantly
Greenhouse Gases and Human Activity
  • since industrial revolution (late 18th century) human activity has contributed to increased levels of greenhouse gases
  • humans have increasingly become dependent on the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas)
  • Fossil fuels: are fuels that contain large amounts of carbon & were formed from remains of living organisms (plants and animals)
  • Burning fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere
  • Compounding the problem, humans began clearing forests for wood products and agriculture (deforestation)
  • Plants remove  CO2 from atmosphere during photosynthesis
  • Canada (2001) contributed about 1.8% of worlds greenhouse gases (2nd highest in world per person basis)
  • nitrous oxide (N2O) is released by use of manure and chemical fertilizers
  • methane is emitted from rice paddies and from digestive systems of cattle and other animals
  • decaying garbage and vegetation 9in landfills) also release methane
  • Human of Halocarbons: human-made chemicals that absorb significant amounts of thermal energy
  • Halocarbons used as coolants (refrigerators, air conditioners etc)
  • CFC (clorofluorocarbons) once used in aerosols, fire extinguishers and air conditioners (also major greenhouse gas)
  • CFCs also destroy (thinning) ozone layer in stratosphere allowing more UV radiation (mutates cells by altering DNA sequencing) from sun to penetrate (consequences is more cancers: cancer surpassing heart disease as leading cause od death/amphibian populations declining alarmingly)
Loss of Biodiversity and species Preservations
  • Loss of biodiversity is a major concern today
  • Experts estimate that we are losing 137 plants, animals and insect species every single day equating to 50,000 species a year
Major human induced causes to biodiversity reduction
    1. Overfishing/hunting
  • Modern technology like rifle scopes, sonar, drift nets are allowing humans to catch prey much more effectively and rapidly resulting in reduction of biodiversity
  • More than 80% of Alberta's native grasslands have been ploughed under and turned into cropland during the past century resulting in reduction of biodiversity
  • Deforestation accounts for about 25% of global CO2 emissions
  • Only 20% of the world's original forests remain intact
  • Rainforests once covered 14% of the earth's land surface; now they cover a mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years
  • Nearly have  of the world's species of plants, animals and micro organisms will be destroyed or severely threatened over the next quarter due to rainforest deforestation
  • 340 species(plants and animals) in Canada including 41 in Alberta are vulnerable, threatened or endangered lighter surfaces
  • Deforestation can affect Albedo rates: perecent of solar radiation that a surface reflects
  • dark surfaces (e.g, dark soil)  absorb ore solar radiation then they reflect
  • light surfaces (e.g. snow) have the highest albedo rates (reflect ore solar radiation)
We are planting very few plant crops while excluding many other plants!
  • by deforesting areas for agriculture (wheat, grain etc) we decrease our biodiversity, losing many plants and animals
  • monoculture practices also risk having population explosion of a single pest (who feed on that particular kind of crop) threaten an entire crop (e.g. LOCUST)
  • As a consequence, pesticides and insecticides must be used to control pests
  • Traditional farming used multiple types of crops not allowing population explosion of a single pest
Global warming
  • Most scientists believe elevated levels of CO2 and methane is causing heat to be trapped within the atmosphere, resulting in global warming
  • Earth is warming up so rapidly that organisms cannot evolve/adapt quick enough
  • Global warming is resulting in the depletion of ice that polar bears require to hunt on, consequently polar-bear populations are dramatically declining
  • Most of Earth's freshwater supply is locked within glaciers that are rapidly melting
  • altering the salinity of our oceans
Heavy metal pollution
  • Everyday items such as batteries, rubber tires, gasoline, pipes and thermometers containing heavy metals are seeping into our soil and waterways
  • Heavy metals such as MERCURY have been found in high levels within the tissue of fish which, through biological amplification, get passed on through the food chain
  • 1950 many people died in Japan from eating fish contaminated with mercury
  • Many of our Alberta lakes and rivers have fish consumption mercury warnings
Pesticides, Herbicides and Fertilizer pollution
  • During spring, run off contaminated with pesticides and herbicides end up in our water sources causing algae blooms that deplete oxygen for fish often leading to summer/winter kill
  • As a consequence, many fish species/populations are declining
*No sources as this comes form my own personal notes

Quote:Here's More Proof Earth Is in Its 6th Mass Extinction

Diverse animals across the globe are slipping away and dying as Earth enters its sixth mass extinction, a new study finds.

Over the last century, species of vertebrates are dying out up to 114 times faster than they would have without human activity, said the researchers, who used the most conservative estimates to assess extinction rates. That means the number of species that went extinct in the past 100 years would have taken 11,400 years to go extinct under natural extinction rates, the researchers said.

Much of the extinction is due to human activities that lead to pollution, habitat loss, the introduction of invasive species and increased carbon emissions that drive climate change and ocean acidification, the researchers said. [7 Iconic Animals Humans Are Driving to Extinction

"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.

Ceballos said that, ever since he was a child, he struggled to understand why certain animals went extinct. In the new study, he and his colleagues focused on the extinction rates of vertebrates, which include mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fishes.

First, they needed to establish how many species go extinct naturally over time. They used data from a 2011 study in the journal Nature showing that typically, the world has two extinctions per 10,000 vertebrate species every 100 years. That study based its estimate on fossil and historical records.

Moreover, that background extinction rate, the researchers found, was higher than that found in other studies, which tend to report half that rate, the researchers said.

Then, Ceballos and his colleagues calculated the modern extinction rate. They used data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an international organization that tracks threatened and endangered species. The 2014 IUCN Red List gave them the number of extinct and possibly extinct vertebrate species since 1500.

These lists allowed them to calculate two extinction rates: a highly conservative rate based solely on extinct vertebrates, and a conservative rate based on both extinct and possibly extinct vertebrates, the researchers said.

According to the natural background rate, just nine vertebrate species should have gone extinct since 1900, the researchers found. But, using the conservative, modern rate, 468 more vertebrates have gone extinct during that period, including 69 mammal species, 80 bird species, 24 reptile species, 146 amphibian species and 158 fish species, they said.

Each of these lost species played a role in its ecosystem, whether it was at the top or bottom of the food chain.

"Every time we lose a species, we're eroding the possibilities of Earth to provide us with environmental services," Ceballos told Live Science.

Researchers typically label an event a mass extinction when more than 5 percent of Earth's species goes extinct in a short period of time, geologically speaking. Based on the fossil record, researchers know about five mass extinctions, the last of which happened 65 million years ago, when an asteroid wiped out the nonavian dinosaurs. [Wipe Out: History's Most Mysterious Extinctions]

"[The study] shows without any significant doubt that we are now entering the sixth great mass extinction event," study researcher Paul Ehrlich, a professor of population studies in biology at Stanford University, said in a statement.

Bye-bye, birdie

At this rate, a huge amount of biodiversity will be lost in as little as two to three human lifetimes, Ceballos said. And it can take millions of years for life to recover and repopulate the Earth, he said.

Species make up distinct populations that can spread over a continent. But some vertebrate populations have so few individuals left that they cannot efficiently play their role in the ecosystem, Ceballos said.

For instance, elephant populations are now far and few between. "The same [goes for] lions, cheetah, rhinos, jaguars — you name it," Ceballos said.

"Basically, focusing on a species is good because those are the units of evolution and ecosystem function, but populations are in even worse shape than species," he added.

However, there is still time to save wildlife by working with conservationists and creating animal-friendly public policy, he said.

"Avoiding a true sixth mass extinction will require rapid, greatly intensified efforts to conserve already threatened species, and to alleviate pressures on their populations — notably, habitat loss, over-exploitation for economic gain and climate change," the researchers wrote in the study, published online today (June 19) in the journal Science Advances

The study supports other findings on Earth's high extinction rate, said Clinton Jenkins, a visiting professor at the Institute of Ecological Research in Brazil, who was not involved with the study.

In 2014, Jenkins and his colleagues published a study in the journal Science that came to the same broad conclusions detailed in the new study, but in last year's study, they also included flowering and cone plants. That study found that current extinction rates are about 1,000 times higher than they would be without human activities.

"This latest study is further evidence of a human-induced mass extinction now underway," Jenkins told Live Science. "Much like the situation with human-caused climate change, years of research have built an enormous scientific case that humanity is driving a mass extinction. What the world’s many species now need are actions to reverse the problem."

Proof Earth Is in Its 6th Mass Extinction

This isn't a matter of if this will happen, it's a matter of WHEN it will happen. I personally do not believe there is a way to prevent this extinction from occurring. Human beings are destroying this planet at unstoppable rate. The earth is unable to sustain over 7 billion people.

Humans are going to be the cause of the sixth extinction.

04-08-2016, 06:50 PM #2
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Any particular reason why this is in the religions forum?

"We check and repress the divinity that stirs within us, to fall down and worship the divinity that is dead without us."
--  Henry David Thoreau, 1851

My Site: www.intelligentinfinity.net


04-08-2016, 07:07 PM #3
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(04-08-2016, 06:50 PM)Hex Wrote:  Any particular reason why this is in the religions forum?

Um yes? It's a foundation for the reason Jesus will be returning sooner than expected. Thankfully ^_^

The bible alone isn't enough evidence to prove that mankind's nearing to it's destruction. Do you have anything constructive to add or are you going to try and turn this into an off topic debate as to why my thread shouldn't be in the religion section? 

Yes Hexy I have a good reason as to WHY I placed it in the religion section.

Is there a problem?
This post was last modified: 04-08-2016, 07:07 PM by Aiylish.

04-08-2016, 07:12 PM #4
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I would also love to see people take a serious look at how horrid and destructive mankind really is.

I put a lot of effort into this thread and do hope that people will at least try and broaden their attention spans because it's coming much sooner than expected. Time for people to realize the damage we are doing....

04-08-2016, 07:45 PM #5
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Now for the comparison of scripture and the exciting events that will happen before Jesus 2nd coming, oh what a glorious days it's going to be. I may not happen in my generation (although I would be freaking ecstatic if did!)

Revelation is a prophetic and symbolic book therefore we should not take most of it literally. The four horses are symbols or representations of what is to come.

Quote:Revelation 6

The Seals

6 I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.

When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.

When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds[a] of wheat for a day’s wages,[b] and six pounds[c] of barley for a day’s wages,[d] and do not damage the oil and the wine!”

When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” 11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters,[e] were killed just as they had been.

12 I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, 13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. 14 The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.

15 Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us[f] from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of their[g] wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”

Quote:Revelation 8

The Seventh Seal and the Golden Censer

8 When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.
Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.

The Trumpets

Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them.
The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down on the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.
The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

10 The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— 11 the name of the star is Wormwood.[a] A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.

12 The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.
13 As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!”

Quote:Revelation 9

9 The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were not allowed to kill them but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes. During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.

The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. 10 They had tails with stingers, like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months. 11 They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek is Apollyon (that is, Destroyer).

12 The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come.

13 The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the four horns of the golden altar that is before God. 14 It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. 16 The number of the mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand. I heard their number.

17 The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. 18 A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. 19 The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury.

20 The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. 21 Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.

04-08-2016, 07:57 PM #6
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Scientist are more dishonest than politicians. Never believe a scientist. Whatever they tell you is fact today will be updated tommorrow. EX: Pluto is a planet. Now Pluto is not a planet. In the 1970s we were told we were heading into a new ice age. Today we are told about global warming.
Scientists are liars. Their world is theoretical mixed with the political. No part of their world is real.
This post was last modified: 04-08-2016, 08:00 PM by Vger.
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04-08-2016, 08:06 PM #7
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(04-08-2016, 07:57 PM)Vger Wrote:  Scientist are more dishonest than politicians. Never believe a scientist. Whatever they tell you is fact today will be updated tommorrow. EX: Pluto is a planet. Now Pluto is not a planet. In the 1970s we were told we were heading into a new ice age. Today we are told about global warming.
Scientists are liars. Their world is theoretical mixed with the political. No part of their world is real.

I used to believe that at one time until I started my major studies in Chemistry, Bio and Physics. I can no longer agree to that. It's too bad that more people haven't gone passed grade 12 and are very ignorant to the universe and everything within it.

All people are dishonest in general, period.

04-12-2016, 01:30 PM #8
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04-13-2016, 06:43 AM #9
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I don't believe Jesus or anybody 'Messiah-like' will be coming to save us from ourselves any time soon, however, let's say we we're on the verge of extinction, your saying Jesus will just turn up and snap his fingers and make everything okay again? That is so hard to believe. If peoples attitudes become like that worldwide - there'd be no surprise why were on the verge of extinction in the first place: "Don'y worry about the mess/the atmosphere/the ecosystem etc., Jesus will eventually come and we'll all be saved."

I don't think we should encourage that type of thinking, I believe it makes people lazy and less caring.

If we do wipe ourselves out, what then?
This post was last modified: 04-13-2016, 08:16 AM by Goku.

"If people don't want you to question something, that probably means you should question it." - Michel Templet

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04-13-2016, 04:35 PM #10
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(04-13-2016, 06:43 AM)Goku Wrote:  I don't believe Jesus or anybody 'Messiah-like' will be coming to save us from ourselves any time soon, however, let's say we we're on the verge of extinction, your saying Jesus will just turn up and snap his fingers and make everything okay again? That is so hard to believe. If peoples attitudes become like that worldwide - there'd be no surprise why were on the verge of extinction in the first place: "Don'y worry about the mess/the atmosphere/the ecosystem etc., Jesus will eventually come and we'll all be saved."

I don't think we should encourage that type of thinking, I believe it makes people lazy and less caring.

If we do wipe ourselves out, what then?
When Jesus comes back, he is coming back to destroy the wicked, non-believers and all those who do not believe in him as the messiah. The earth will be destroyed and a new heaven and earth will be created without sin, without evil, the non-believers and the wicked. It encourages us because one day we won't have to deal with those who are against God and his creation. 

Jesus isn't coming back to save people like you. He's returning to destroy his enemies and to give us a life you could only dream of and that's not even a taste. I believe science is helping prove that we are close to the end and for myself it's pretty easy to see how a lot of scripture lined up well with the destruction of the earth's biodiversity.

You can't believe Jesus is coming, it would be very absurd for vessels of wrath predestined to destruction to believe otherwise. It's okay, I understand. Smile
This post was last modified: 04-13-2016, 07:07 PM by Aiylish.