New data shows that the sixth extinction of species may not be so massive

(ORDO NEWS) — According to the calculations of a Japanese climatologist, the scale of the coming extinction of living organisms is greatly overestimated and the anthropogenic increase in temperature is unlikely to lead to mass death of species earlier than in the middle of the millennium.

Today, global warming and other factors associated with human activity are leading to the extinction of many species of living beings.

It is believed that if we fail to take emergency measures, a further increase in temperature by 2100 will make the current extinction truly massive, putting it on a par with five past similar disasters.

However, the new work of the Japanese professor from the University of Tohoku Kunio Kaiho (Kunio Kaiho) allows you to postpone this date to a much more distant future.

According to his calculations, the temperature will rise to a critical level only around the year 2500, which means that humanity has enough time to stop the process.

Professor Kaiho used data on global temperature, land and land temperatures during past mass extinctions with information on the number of species that disappeared then.

In addition to the six largest ones – Ordovician, Devonian, Permian, Triassic, Cretaceous-Paleogene and the current Holocene – the scientist considered events of a lesser scale, such as the mass extinction of species at the end of the Guadeloupe department of the Persian period.

New data shows that the sixth extinction of species may not be so massive 2
Graphs show the relationship between temperature (along the abscissa) and the proportion of extinct genera (y-axis, top row) or species (bottom row). The deviation of the average global temperature (a and d), the average temperature of the environment (land or ocean (b and e), or the absolute value of the deviation (c and f) is indicated. Blue and light blue circles correspond to the extinction of marine species, red squares to land species. Mass extinctions of the past fall into the blue areas; end-G indicates extinction at the end of the Guadeloupe division of the Permian; HA – the current Holocene-Anthropocene extinction

A comparison of these figures showed that the proportion of extinct species depends almost linearly on temperature anomalies in their habitat.

For the largest mass extinctions, the deviation would have to be quite large, corresponding to a nine degree Celsius rise in global mean temperature or a seven degree drop.

This is much larger than past estimates that predict a massive Holocene extinction event with warming above 5.2 degrees.

According to today’s ideas, by 2100 the average global temperature will rise by 4.4 degrees, and the border of nine degrees will not be reached before 2500, even under a pessimistic scenario.

Species extinction will occur and is already occurring , but its scale may not be as catastrophic as during the most famous extinctions of the past.

However, new calculations may not take into account the most important additional factor that is characteristic of the current Holocene extinction.

Today, man has become a source of problems for the biosphere, and our economic activity raises the temperature much faster than in the past.

The Permian extinction and warming developed over about 60 thousand years, and today’s one is happening on a scale of hundreds of years.

This sharply reduces the ability of living populations to adapt to changes and, apparently, will further accelerate their extinction.


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