Humans driving Earth to sixth mass extinction: Study
As per recently published study in the journal Science Advances, humans are driving Earth to sixth mass extinction.
The study was led by team of experts from Stanford University, Princeton University and the University of California, Berkeley of United states.
- The analysis of study was based on documented extinctions of vertebrate species such as frogs, tigers, reptiles and from fossil records and other historical data.
- Researchers had compared the modern rate of species loss to the natural rates of species disappearance before human activity was dominated.
- As per natural rate of extinction, two species go extinct per 10,000 species in 100 years.
- However, modern rates of extinction are 8 to 100 times higher. For example, 477 vertebrates have gone extinct since 1900, rather than 9 that would be expected at natural rates.
- The average rate of vertebrate species loss in past 100 years is up to 114 times higher than it would had been without human activity.
- Main causes for species loss includes climate change, pollution, deforestation, habitat loss, over-exploitation for economic gain etc.
- As per International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) around 41 percent of all amphibian species and 26 percent of mammals are threatened with extinction.
The study calls for rapid and greatly intensified efforts to conserve already threatened species. It also calls to alleviate pressures on species populations due over-exploitation for economic gain, habitat loss and climate change.
Month: Current Affairs - June, 2015