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Time for Earth Recovery

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

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The journal 'Nature' has published new research that shows the effect of human impact on biodiversity/ecosystems will take at least ten million years to heal.

Anne Weil (Duke University) and James Kirchner (UCal- Berkeley) have examined extinction and ecosystem recovery in the fossil past while current indications are that at least half of the species on Earth will become extinct in the next 50 to 100 years. These extinctions are a part of the 'sixth wave' of human induced species extinctions on a global scale.

By looking at the last five major extinction events, as well as smaller die-offs, and by comparing the 'lag' between the extinction and biodiversity recovery, the researchers found a pattern that is consistent.

They looked for the point at which entire ecosystems recover and discovered that the baseline recovery time was ten million years. Humanity itself will be extinct before the Earth recovers from the effects of our generation. We, especially people of the developed nations, will leave a biologically impoverished Earth for all species for, effectively, all time.

However, the two urge optimism. Kirchner said, 'This is not pre-ordained. Whether it happens or not depends on the choices we make.'

The reality is that humanity has caused the greatest extinction of life on Earth since the loss of the dinosaurs, 65 million years ago. This extinction curve is still reaching upward and nations such as Australia, by defying global warming reductions, contribute to the loss of the richness of life on Earth.

 

 


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