Mass extinction on Earth: scientists announce alarming forecast

Alina MilsentLife
Mass extinction is closer than previously predicted

The mass extinction of species on Earth will happen sooner than predicted. The scale of the impending catastrophe is staggering: almost half of the animals are facing a precipitous drop in population. Scientists have published a study showing that the rate of species extinction is twice as high as previously estimated.

According to the new analysis, some groups of mammals, birds and insects are already facing unexpected declines. The Daily Mail reports the details.

Daniel Pincheira-Donoso, an evolutionary biologist and head of the Macrobiodiversity Laboratory at Queen's University in Belfast and lead author of the study, said the rate of extinction was alarming. More than 700,000 species were studied, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects. Scientists tried to understand which populations were at risk of soon disappearing forever, and which still had a chance to survive.

The study showed really disastrous results: the population of 48 percent of the fauna is in steep decline. Compared to preliminary data, 33% of previously uninspiring species are now in serious decline or on the brink of extinction. The International Union for Conservation of Nature had previously classified 25 percent of known species as endangered.

Mass extinction on Earth: scientists announce alarming forecast

Amphibians face the highest risk, according to the latest data. They are known to be very vulnerable to industrial chemicals, diseases and fungi, which are now globally spread.

The good news is that fish and reptiles have shown stable population numbers and are not yet in danger of extinction

Scientists say too little biodiversity actually benefits and is benefiting from climate change, melting glaciers, industrial development and population growth.

"A tiny 3 percent of them are seeing population growth," Pincheira-Donoso said.

Currently, species living in the tropics are the hardest hit - for them, climate change is a key factor. Birds are in a relatively favorable position - at least they can migrate.

Earlier OBOZREVATEL was told that scientists found out the reason for mass extinction of insects on the planet.

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