Are at the beginning of the sixth great extinction? Some seem to think so. Stamford researchers have have conducted a review of the scientific literature and concluded that we are on the verge of the next (sixth) great extinction (defaunation).
The planet’s current biodiversity, the product of 3.5 billion years of evolutionary trial and error, is the highest in the history of life. But it may be reaching a tipping point.
In a new review of scientific literature and analysis of data published in Science, an international team of scientists cautions that the loss and decline of animals is contributing to what appears to be the early days of the planet’s sixth mass biological extinction event.
The loss is driven primarily by loss of habitat and global climate disruption. The list of extinctions since 1500 include hunting to extinction and loss of habitat. I didn’t find any losses due to global climate disruption. The report seems to be very similar to a report in 2010 on vertebrate extinctions. In both cases, the conclusions were based on literature reviews and endangered species lists and estimates. Extinctions are still quite rare. I’ve missed the global climate disruption, so shat must be based on predictions of mass extinctions from predictions of climate change. At least they aren’t claiming extinction of unknown species that now we will never know.