Mass Extinction

Earth’s sixth mass extinction is currently accelerating, and a new study points out that it is the only one in the planet’s history to be caused by human activity.

“Drastically increased rates of species extinctions and declining abundances of many animal and plant populations are well documented, yet some deny that these phenomena amount to mass extinction,” said lead researcher Robert Cowie. Writing in the journal Biological Reviews, he and his colleagues estimate that between 7.5% and 13% of Earth’s 2 million known species may already be lost. Some critics of the alarm over the man-made “biological annihilation” of wildlife say this it merely a new and natural trend, with humans just playing the dominant role in Earth’s evolutionary history.

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