Sixth Great Massive Extinction, or Holocene Extinction, or Anthropocene Extinction

"The world is currently in the middle of a very pronounced and rapid mass extinction, sometimes referred to as the 6th Great Mass extinction, the Holocene extinction, or the Anthropocene extinction. Though not all recent extinctions have been caused entirely by humans, all have been at the very least partially so. Mostly as a result of human expansion, deforestation, agriculture, over-hunting and domesticated animals.

"Humans have significantly modified the vast majority of the previously most-productive regions and ecosystems of the world. While the argument is often made that humans don’t take up that much of the world spatially, and that you could fit all of human development into a so-and-so sized region, this completely ignores the fact that humans have preferentially migrated to and “developed” the previously most biologically-productive regions. Rivers, coasts, forests, valleys, etc, have all been largely settled by humans. Leaving primarily the marginal regions, deserts, dry-land ecosystems, mountains, etc. And these remaining regions are often now unconnected to each other, being separated by roads, cities, and farmland. This greatly limits the ability of many species to maintain a healthy population range, and limits their ability to adapt and move in reaction to changes in the climate.

"When this is combined with the directly human causes, of over-hunting, deforestation, introduced invasive species, introduced disease, domesticated animals, pollution, over-fishing, greenhouse gas pollution, and water diversion, it is no surprise that the current rate of extinction is 10 to 100 times higher than during any of the previous mass extinction events on the Earth.

"And of particular concern is that this extinction event involves a significantly higher proportion of plants than during any of the previous mass extinction events. It is unknown what will happen as a result of the extinction of so many different species of plants at once.

"These reasons are why this 6th Great Mass Extinction is often referred to as the Anthropocene extinction, meaning anthropogenic, or due to human activity.

"The rate of species extinction has been increasing in recent years, and with it the health of many ecosystems. Humans are entirely reliant upon these natural ecosystems for their lives. Without them there would be no food, clean water, livable climate, crop pollination, etc.

"It has been estimated that if the current rate of “human disruption of the biosphere” continues, that one half of all of the world’s multicellular life forms will be extinct by 2100."

http://scienceheathen.com/2013/03/07/extinction-mass-extinctions-ex...
6th Great Mass Extinction: The Holocene Extinction, or The Anthropocene Extinction

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Enjoyed reading that Joan. Thanks as always.

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