Space & Science

Scientists warn of a devastating mass extinction event caused by climate change

Alright, that’s pretty spooky.

Mass extinction

A new climate modeling study offers disturbing insight into the the future of almost all species on the planet, AlertScience reports.

Scientists believe that life on Earth has been rocked by several mass extinction events over the past half billion years. These events have most often followed large periods of climate change, which have historically been triggered by a number of natural factors, including asteroids and volcanoes.

During each climatic disaster, various species of plants and animals have had to adapt to survive – or risk disappearing forever.

But according to a new study by Tohoku University climatologist Kunio Kaiho, who was published in the journal Biogeosciences Last month, the human-caused climate change we face today will likely unfold over a much shorter period of time than previous extinction events, leaving species everywhere with much less time to adapt. .

Lack of time

The largest known mass extinction occurred over approximately 60,000 years. According to Kaiho’s worst-case prediction, the Earth could reach a rise of about 16 degrees Fahrenheit in just a few hundred years — enough to trigger another event, but much less time for evolution to catch up.

After reviewing the severity of each mass extinction event, Kaiho found a linear relationship between the degree of temperature change and the fate of plants and animals. Essentially, the more extreme the global warming or cooling, the harder it was for species to survive.

Although these changes will take several hundred years, humans, plants and animals are already facing climate change induced disasters.

All the more reason not to leave all the cleaning to our ancestors – that is, whether humans will still be around by then.

Learn more about extinction: Zoo saves DNA of rare animals in case they go extinct

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