Half Of The World's Species Could Be Extinct By The End Of The Century

Posted: Feb 28 2017, 6:20am CST | by , Updated: Feb 28 2017, 6:23am CST, in News | Latest Science News

 

Half of the World's Species could be Extinct by the End of the Century
Photo Credit: Getty Images
 

Human activites are the driving force behind this die-off

During the Earth’s 4.5 billion year history, animal life has experienced five major mass extinctions, some of which wiped out almost all the species of our planet. The last major extinction event occurred about 66 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous Period, leading to the demise of dinosaurs. 

Today, one in five species faces the risk of extinction and by the end of the century a half of all animal species will die out unless something big is done to save them. That’s according to world's leading biologists attending a conference in the Vatican this week.

“The living fabric of the world is slipping through our fingers without our showing much sign of caring.” The report published prior to the conference said.

The report attributes the die-off primarily to human activities, which has been affecting ecosystems for hundreds of years. Burning of fossil fuels, clearing forests for agriculture, building cities on wetlands, dumping pollution in the ocean and overhunting — all these activities are making Earth less hospitable to birds and animals species worldwide and pushing them towards extinction. 

“Human populations began to grow rapidly and overwhelmed the capacity of many natural systems through cultivating crops and grazing. It is estimated that at the time of Christ, there may have been 300million people globally; now there are 7.3 billion. Some 11% of the world world’s ice free land surface have been converted to crop agriculture, another 20% to grazing, most of it unsustainable, on natural grasslands.” Report reads.

“It is obvious that many of the kinds of organisms that occurred 10,000 years ago have already gone extinct, and that we are dealing with a reduced set of the organisms that existed when agriculture was first adopted by our ancestors.”

While the animals are suffering now, this trend will eventually impact people sooner or later. 

 

 

 

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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