Biologists threaten the "Sixth mass extinction" of plants and animals

In prepared by the scientists of the IntergovernmentalThe Scientifically-Political Platform on Biodiversity and Environmental Systems (IPBES) 1.8-page report, a brief squeeze of which (40 pages) was presented on Monday at a platform meeting at UNESCO headquarters in France saying that under the threat of extinction There are 1 million species of animals and plants on Earth. In the new report, scientists use the term “Sixth Mass Extinction” for the first time. But this time it is not called the very cause of nature, but human activity.

According to the authors of the report, out of 8 million species of plants and animals, including 5.5 million insect species, up to a million are threatened with extinction, including in the coming decades.

“Human activities are threatened with extinction by more species than ever,” the authors state.

"At least tens or hundreds of times morescale than the average over the past 10 million years. On average, about 1 million species are already threatened with extinction, for many this will happen in the coming decades, ”the document says.

Key factors affectingBiodiversity, the report authors refer to land use change, direct use of living organisms (eg, hunting), climate change, environmental pollution and the spread of invasive species.

According to researchers, 75 percent of the land, 40percent of the oceans and 50 percent of river waters already “show degradation due to human activity”. More than 40 percent of amphibians, 33 percent of reef corals and more than a third of marine mammals are under threat. There is less insect data, but according to preliminary estimates, 10 percent of species are threatened with extinction. And if the trend continues, by 2190, insects may not remain on Earth at all, which will fundamentally change the entire biosphere. The report also notes that no less than 680 species of vertebrates have become extinct since the 16th century. According to average estimates for all groups of plants and animals, extinction threatens 25 percent of species.

It is noted that every year a person extracts about 60 billion tons of renewable and non-renewable resources, which is almost two times more than in 1980.

Researchers believe that a disappointing pictureYou can try to change through transformative change. The “transformative changes” themselves mean a complete reorganization of the system of human life in the sphere of economics, technology and social development, for which it will be necessary to change existing values ​​and goals.

Recall that last year biologists from the University of Texas at Austin calculated how much nature would need for the restoration of biodiversity at the current rate of extinction.

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