As we all know, the earth has experienced five mass extinction events, and almost every extinction event will lead to a large-scale mass extinction. And now, with human-caused destruction, a sixth mass extinction appears to have begun. According to foreign media reports, a new study from the “Biological Reviews” (Biological Reviews) pointed out that,The sixth mass extinction has begun, and this event is entirely caused by humans.
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The five previous mass extinctions on Earth were caused by a series of natural phenomena, said study author Robert Cowie. And now, biodiversity is really facing a severe test, the number of species has begun to decline sharply, and mankind is witnessing the beginning of the sixth mass extinction.
For the sixth mass extinction, many experts say this is alarmist.Because the extinction of species from the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is not very serious, this extinction rate is in line with the current background.
In this regard, Cowie pointed out that although the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species includes almost all birds and mammals, the record of invertebrates is incomplete. And it is the extinction rate of invertebrate species that has far exceeded the existing background extinction rate.
In the past five mass extinctions, almost every marine species faced a major threat, and even previous mass extinctions were mainly defined by marine invertebrates.
But about 7 percent of terrestrial snail species have gone extinct since 1500. Assuming that this figure is representative of the extinction rate for all non-marine invertebrates, the researchers calculated that as many as 7.5-13% of the 2 million known mollusk species have already disappeared.
Converted to specific numbers,This equates to the extinction of 150,000 to 260,000 mollusk species, far higher than the 882 extinct mollusks listed on the Red List.At this rate, it is certain that the sixth mass extinction has already begun, and is also caused by human activity.
Cowie warned that humanity needs to take responsibility for avoiding this looming catastrophe, as humans are the only species capable of manipulating the biosphere on a large scale, and the only species with a conscious choice for the future and the planet’s biodiversity.