Published On: Sat, Jun 20th, 2015

Study shows planet Earth staring at sixth mass extinction

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Humans too will be affected warn Scientists

The world is witnessing the sixth mass extinction that threatens even our very own existence, warns a new study.

The new study, published 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.

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Although scientists call for immediate actions to conserve threatened species and safeguard habitat, they believe that the window of opportunity is rapidly closing.

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Not since the age of the dinosaurs ended 66 million years ago has the planet been losing species at this rapid a rate. 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.

“If it is allowed to continue, life would take many millions of years to recover, and our species itself would likely disappear early on,” Gerardo Ceballos of the Universidad Autónoma de México, and the study’s lead author, said in a statement on Friday.

However, some have challenged the theory, believing earlier estimates rested on assumptions that overestimated the crisis.

Using fossil records and extinction counts from a range of records, the researchers compared a highly conservative estimate of current extinctions with a normal “background” rate estimate twice as high as those widely used in previous analyses.

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