Earth is witnessing its sixth mass extinction, humans to be blamed: Study

WION Web Team
New Delhi Updated: Jan 21, 2022, 11:04 PM(IST)

Earth is witnessing its sixth mass extinction Photograph:( Twitter )

Story highlights

The process of extinction is not new to earth. It has been going on since the 16th century. The study further highlights that earth could have already lost about 7.5 and 13 per cent of its total species since then

A recent study led by the University of Hawaii states that earth is going through its sixth mass extinction. There have been five mass extinctions so far. However, all of those were caused by natural phenomena. This time, it is being caused entirely by humans. 

The process of extinction is not new to earth. It has been going on since the 16th century. The study further highlights that earth could have already lost about 7.5 and 13 per cent of its total species since then. 

"Incorporating estimates of the true number of invertebrate extinctions leads to the conclusion that the rate vastly exceeds the background rate and that we may indeed be witnessing the start of the sixth mass extinction," the study read. 

As a part of the study, the team of researchers analysed molluscs, which happens to be the second-largest phylum in numbers of known species. According to the IUCN Red List data, molluscs have suffered a higher rate of extinction than birds and mammals. 

Invertebrates, however, constitute about 95 per cent of known animal species.

Therefore, it is important to include them in the biodiversity extinction estimate, researchers argue. 

The study also countered the views presented by some of the researchers. The head of the research, Robert Cowie, said that the Red list is biased as it leaves out most invertebrates. "Incorporating estimates of the true number of invertebrate extinctions leads to the conclusion that the rate vastly exceeds the background rate and that we may indeed be witnessing the start of the Sixth Mass Extinction,” the study read. 

The study further urged the scientists to unite and do everything to stop the extinction of species. 

Read in App