Sixth Mass Extinction - DTE - 27/12/22
Recently a new study led by the University of Hawaii claimed that Earth is witnessing its sixth mass extinction event.
->Highlights of the study:
-The Living Planet Report by WWF: According to the report, there has been a 69 per cent decline in the wildlife populations of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish, across the globe in the last 50 years.
-Marine species: Scientists have also warned of an imminent mass annihilation of marine species similar to one 250 million years ago that wiped out most lives in oceans.
-Migratory fish species: Habitat loss and barriers to migration routes were responsible for about half of the threats to monitored migratory fish species.
->About Mass Extinction:
-A mass extinction is a short period of geological time in which a high percentage of biodiversity, or distinct species—bacteria, fungi, plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, invertebrates—dies out.
-In this definition, it’s important to note that, in geological time, a ‘short’ period can span thousands or even millions of years.
-The planet has experienced five previous mass extinction events, the last one occurring 65.5 million years ago which wiped out the dinosaurs from existence.
->Causes of mass extinction:
-Changes in land and sea use (habitat loss and degradation)
-Pollution and Climate Change
-Invasive alien species
-Overexploitation of species
->Consequences of mass extinction:
-Interdependent ecology: Losing species at a such an alarming rate has a far-reaching consequence on the landmass.
-Moving towards poles: The IPCC report cites that half of all species are moving towards the poles or to a higher elevation to adapt to the new planetary climate.
-Missing SDG targets: The world may miss the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets by a wide margin if human civilisation does not pull up its socks and promptly acts to protect the natural order.
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