A recent study conducted by researchers at the Stanford University and the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico has proven that the Earth is rapidly evolving towards sixth mass extinction. The conclusion was reached after scientists noticed that the species of the Earth are disappearing at a rate that is 100 times faster than it used to be a decade ago.
Many conservation endeavors have been carried out in the past as non-governmental organizations fight to maintain the fauna and flora of our planet. However, recent statistics show that there are still many efforts to be done as many of the animal and plant species we know today could soon become extinct.
More specifically, one sixth of the Earth’s population is threatened by extinction as a consequence of climate changes. Hotter temperatures rates have been the main cause of death among animal species. Researchers claim that these exemplars will be forced to look for other areas where they can live, such as, the mountains where the temperature will remain constant for a longer period.
However, life in the mountains is not suitable for all species, which means that only the fittest will survive. Those who cannot adapt to the new habitat, will vanish in time, similar to many other species that have disappeared throughout Earth’s history.
The study, whose findings where included in the journal Science, claims that the overall temperature of the Earth has grown by 0.8 degrees Celsius (1.5 degrees Fahrenheit) since the times of the Industrial Revolution. The tendency, however, in the past years is for degrees to grow alarmingly high and fast, at the same time.
As estimated by environmental researchers, temperatures could rise by 4.5 degrees Celsius (8 degrees Fahrenheit) in the following decades, unless new measures are adopted. The situation is all the more cumbersome as great part of the ice shelf on the Antarctic glaciers has melted, threatening the lives of polar species, who cannot live in other conditions.
Nevertheless, the global regions where extinction rates will be the highest are South America, Australia and New Zealand. It is estimated that 23 percent of the South African fauna will disappear, whereas Australia and New Zealand will both lose 14 percent by 2040 as these species are less mobile.
IUCN published the Red List of Threatened Species on Wednesday informing organizations and governments that 23,000 world species are threatened by extinction. The list contains the names of the animal and plant species that have significantly diminished in the past years.
Image source: treehugger.com