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Is Earth Due For Its Sixth Mass Extinction?

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posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 06:16 PM

With the steep decline in populations of many animal species, from frogs and fish to tigers, some scientists have warned that Earth is on the brink of a mass extinction like those that occurred only five times before during the past 540 million years.

Each of these 'Big Five' saw three-quarters or more of all animal species go extinct.

In a study to be published in the March 3 issue of the journal Nature, University of California, Berkeley, paleobiologists assess where mammals and other species stand today in terms of possible extinction, compared with the past 540 million years, and they find cause for hope as well as alarm.

"If you look only at the critically endangered mammals -- those where the risk of extinction is at least 50 percent within three of their generations -- and assume that their time will run out, and they will be extinct in 1,000 years, that puts us clearly outside any range of normal, and tells us that we are moving into the mass extinction realm," said principal author Anthony D. Barnosky, UC Berkeley professor of integrative biology, a curator in the Museum of Paleontology and a research paleontologist in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology

"It looks like modern extinction rates resemble mass extinction rates, even after setting a high bar for defining 'mass extinction,'" Barnosky said.

Click here to read article

The big question is, what caused these extintion events? While we know some were most likely caused by asteroids, that doesn't account for all mass extinctions. Could this be magnetic pole related, or is humanties careless ways catching up with us now?

edit on 2-3-2011 by v1rtu0s0 because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 06:20 PM
reply to post by v1rtu0s0

I think it's a combination of humans treating the Earth like crap and natural weather changes that have both contributed to killing mammals. If those two don't kill us then a war or overpopulation resulting in famine and disease will.

posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 06:23 PM
who knows. probably not though. i think we'd be seeing a lot more animals go extinct with no connection to human harvesting. do we see that happening?

posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 06:33 PM
This is all very creepy.

I honestly believe it's mostly natural. It's about time for it to happen, and so here it is. Sure, I think some of it is man-made, but for the most part, I think history is repeating itself.

posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 06:35 PM
to answer your title question I have to say YES.

I think it IS time.........bubye (in advance) everyone.


posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 06:41 PM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 06:41 PM
Mother Earth is due for another '"format earth:/u"
And it does not bother me at all.

I think it is a privilege that we have front row tickets in our hands to witness it.

2nd line

edit on 2-3-2011 by St-Patrick because: confidential

posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 06:45 PM
One major factor in our current crisis (?) is that many of the die offs are attributed to hypoxia.

First link I want to share is about current "Dead Zones" in the ocean. Please review this link

Dead zones are hypoxic (low-oxygen) areas in the world's oceans,

Check out the maps on that link.

In March 2004, when the recently established UN Environment Programme published its first Global Environment Outlook Year Book (GEO Year Book 2003) it reported 146 dead zones in the world's oceans where marine life could not be supported due to depleted oxygen levels. Some of these were as small as a square kilometre (0.4 mi²), but the largest dead zone covered 70,000 square kilometres (27,000 mi²). A 2008 study counted 405 dead zones worldwide

So in 2004 there were 146 counted dead zones, and in 2008 there are 405 on record. That's rather concerning.

Aquatic and marine dead zones can be caused by an increase in chemical nutrients (particularly nitrogen and phosphorus) in the water, known as eutrophication.

Link on Eutrophication

is the addition of artificial or natural substances, such as nitrates and phosphates, through fertilizers or sewage, to an aquatic system.[1] In other terms, it is the "bloom" or great increase of phytoplankton in a water body. Negative environmental effects include hypoxia, the depletion of oxygen in the water, which induces reductions in specific fish and other animal populations.

Now let's review Hypoxia and Anoxic events in depth.
Anoxic Events

Although anoxic events have not happened for millions of years,the geological record shows that they happened many times in the past. Anoxic events may have caused mass extinctions.

Ok now let me skip through a lot and get to an important part I would like to bring up.
Cenomanian-Turonian Anoxic Event

The Cenomanian-Turonian boundary event, also known as the Cenomanian-Turonian extinction event, the Cenomanian-Turonian anoxic event, and referred to in Europe as the Bonarelli Event,[1] was the latter of two anoxic extinction events early in the Late Cretaceous period. The event occurred approximately 91.5 ± 8.6 million years ago,[2] and brought about the extinction of the ichthyosaurs and pliosaurs. Although the cause is still uncertain,the result starved the Earth's oceans of oxygen for nearly half a million years, causing the extinction of approximately 27 percent of marine invertebrates.[3] This global environmental disturbance increased atmospheric and oceanic temperatures.

Although this is just what I dug up in 10minutes, we could easily expand upon this line of research.

I want to go back to the chat room for now, enjoy digging through some of this research and keep in mind that hypoxia and related anoxic events are critically central aspects to ocean extinction events in many cases historically.

If we are indeed witnessing the first stages of an Anoxic event in our oceans, than yes we could be entering a fast-paced version of what has happened before. If something like this happens, we humans will be in dire straights because one of our major food sources will be directly affected and possibly eliminated. This could spell defeat for our civilization if we do not figure this out and take action to mitigate these effects.

Good thread , very important subject. I shall return.

posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 07:27 PM
There are people that say that we are not overdue at all... We are currently in the middle of it. Sad enough...

Here s a thread I created a while ago on it : The Shocking Reality of Modern Day Extinction.,

Unfortunately most extinct creatures are not even included in it...

posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 08:23 PM
Great post!

I think hypoxia is probably related to pollution of our environment, and dramatic changes in the weather which could also be related human activity.

reply to post by muzzleflash

posted on Mar, 3 2011 @ 12:22 PM
According to god , humans will remain on earth for an eternity so no

posted on Mar, 3 2011 @ 04:26 PM
reply to post by UFOIogy

No they won't according to God. At least not in our current form. God never directly stated that or Jesus.
Personally, I think we will survie but on a different dimension, similiar to what edgar Cascey has stated.

posted on Mar, 3 2011 @ 04:31 PM
If the human race had any regard for or hope for the survival of all of the other species, we would do the rest of the world a favor and just die.

We are the source. Humankind is the plague.

posted on Mar, 4 2011 @ 10:34 AM
Here's another link to this story with a little more info. Bad science info.


The authors admitted to weaknesses in the study. They acknowledged that the fossil record is far from complete, that mammals provide an imperfect benchmark of Earth's biodiversity and further work is needed to confirm their suspicions.

Sorry, didn't mean to spoil the hysteria. Let's just clean up our act!!!


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