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06/29/2020

The Sixth Mass Extinction: National Academy of Sciences Publication (June 29th)

Related to my June 20th post, "The World Has Sixth Months . . ." the current COVID-19 pandemic has renewed interest in climate-induced changes in the proximity of so-called reservoir species, for example bats, and human interaction.  Similarly, climate change or the climate crisis, caused by anthropocentric warming, is also a significant contributor to the ongoing sixth mass extinction.  (There have previously been five mass extinctions over the past 450 million years caused moreover by volcanic activity.  Each of which destroyed between 70% and 95% of all life on earth.)   In research published earlier this month in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) and titled, "Vertebrates On the Brink as Indicators of Biological Annihilation and the Sixth Mass Extinction," Gerardo Ceballos and his colleagues concluded ongoing biological annihilation "is likely accelerating for several reasons" including "human pressures on the biosphere are growing rapidly."   The authors conclude "the window of opportunity," to stop extinction, "is almost closed."  "It is, therefore, a scientific and moral imperative for scientists," they argue, "to take whatever actions they can to stop extinction."  

The June article is at: https://www.pnas.org/content/117/24/13596.

In May 2017 Ceballos and colleagues published in PNAS related research under the title, "Biological Annihilation via the Ongoing Sixth Mass Extinction Signaled by Vertebrate Population Losses and Declines," at: https://www.pnas.org/content/114/30/E6089.    

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