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Cinnamon

Sixth mass extinction is here: US study

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Miami (AFP) - The world is embarking on its sixth mass extinction with animals disappearing about 100 times faster than they used to, scientists warned Friday, and humans could be among the first victims.

Not since the age of the dinosaurs ended 66 million years ago has the planet been losing species at this rapid a rate, said a study led by experts at Stanford University, Princeton University and the University of California, Berkeley.

The study "shows without any significant doubt that we are now entering the sixth great mass extinction event," said co-author Paul Ehrlich, a Stanford University professor of biology.

And humans are likely to be among the species lost, said the study -- which its authors described as "conservative" -- published in the journal Science Advances.

"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 lead author Gerardo Ceballos of the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico.

The analysis is based on documented extinctions of vertebrates, or animals with internal skeletons such as frogs, reptiles and tigers, from fossil records and other historical data.

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http://news.yahoo.com/sixth-mass-extinction-us-study-210749359.html

There's no doubt that man has had a terrible impact on the species of the world. But the blame needs to be put where it belongs and that is on corporations that destroy vast swatches of land and don't restore anything when they are done. The same goes for energy and water conservation. Turn off that light all you want and recycle, yes it probably helps some but there's no way to even begin to counter the destruction that these people/entities do.

Edited by Cinnamon

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There is no longer any doubt: we are entering a mass extinction that threatens humanity’s existence.

That’s the conclusion of a new study by a group of scientists including Paul Ehrlich, the Bing Professor of Population Studies in biology and a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Ehrlich and his co-authors call for fast action to conserve threatened species, populations and habitat, but warn that the window of opportunity is rapidly closing.

“[The study] shows without any significant doubt that we are now entering the sixth great mass extinction event,” Ehrlich said.

Although most well known for his positions on human population, Ehrlich has done extensive work on extinctions going back to his 1981 book, Extinction: The Causes and Consequences of the Disappearance of Species. He has long tied his work on coevolution, on racial, gender and economic justice, and on nuclear winter with the issue of wildlife populations and species loss.

According to the study, there is general agreement among scientists that extinction rates have reached levels unparalleled since the dinosaurs died out 66 million years ago. However, some have challenged the theory, believing earlier estimates rested on assumptions that overestimated the crisis.

The new study, published (open-access) in the journal Science Advances, shows that even with extremely conservative estimates, species are disappearing up to about 100 times faster than the normal rate between mass extinctions, known as the background rate.

“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 lead author Gerardo Ceballos of the Universidad Autónoma de México.

http://www.kurzweilai.net/the-sixth-mass-extinction-is-here-say-stanford-researchers

http://www.kurzweilai.net/images/cumulative-vertebrate-extinctions.jpg

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