Sixth mass extinction already under way

11 Jul 2017   Climate

A “biological annihilation” of wildlife in recent decades means a sixth mass extinction in Earth’s history is under way and is more severe than previously feared, according to research. Scientists analysed both common and rare species and found billions of regional or local populations have been lost. They blame human overpopulation and overconsumption for the crisis and warn that it threatens the survival of human civilisation, with just a short window of time in which to act. The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , eschews the normally sober tone of scientific papers and calls the massive loss of wildlife a “biological annihilation” that represents a “frightening assault on the foundations of human civilisation”. Prof Gerardo Ceballos, at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, who led the work, said: “The situation has become so bad it would not be ethical not to […]

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