- JoNova - https://joannenova.com.au -

This is only 1 percent of a real mass extinction

Peter Brannen argues a real mass extinction doesn’t just wipe out 1% of species, it wipes out 90%.

It turns out humans are not quite as bad as a one-kilometer-deep lava layer covering an area as big as the US.

 Earth is not in the midst of a Sixth Mass Extinction

Humans have changed the ecosphere:

So things don’t look so good, no matter where we look. Yes, the victims in the animal world include scary apex predators that pose obvious threats to humans, like lions, whose numbers have dropped from 1 million at the time of Jesus to 450,000 in the 1940s to 20,000 today—a decline of 98 percent. But also included have been unexpected victims, like butterflies and moths, which have declined in abundance by 35 percent since the 1970s.

Is this a mini extinction?

…the only reason we know about mass extinctions in the first place is from the record of this incredibly abundant, durable, and diverse world of marine invertebrates, not the big, charismatic, and rare stuff like dinosaurs.“

So you can ask, ‘Okay, well, how many geographically widespread, abundant, durably skeletonized marine taxa have gone extinct thus far?’ And the answer is, pretty close to zero,” Erwin pointed out. In fact, of the best-assessed groups of modern animals—like stony corals, amphibians, birds and mammals—somewhere between 0 and 1 percent of species have gone extinct in recent human history. By comparison, the hellscape of End-Permian mass extinction claimed upwards of 90 percent of all species on earth.

When mass extinctions hit, they don’t just take out big charismatic megafauna, like elephants, or niche ecosystems, like cloud forests. They take out hardy and ubiquitous organisms as well—things like clams and plants and insects. This is incredibly hard to do. But once you go over the edge and flip into mass extinction mode, nothing is safe. Mass extinctions kill almost everything on the planet.

–The Atlantic

h/t GWPF

9.8 out of 10 based on 89 ratings