It’s official: the Sixth Mass Extinction in Earth’s history is now underway. And it’s worse than anyone imagined.

According to The Guardian, 150 - 200 species of plant, animal and insect go extinct every single day. But that figure alone does not convey the gravity of the situation. For that, we look to a recent peer-reviewed study.

The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on July 10th, 2017.

The title says it all: “Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population and declines.” As you can see, all subtleties have been tossed aside when discussing the sixth mass extinction.

Polite language

The typical niceties in academic writing appear to be going extinct as well. Throughout the paper, scientists seem to have abandoned the humdrum vocabulary typical of such studies.

They have forgone such politeness in favor of a more alarmist tone, and for a good reason according to them. From the paper, courtesy of PNAS, "Earth’s sixth mass extinction is more severe than perceived when looking exclusively at species extinctions. Therefore, humanity needs to address anthropogenic population extirpation and decimation immediately”.

Extreme weather

The recent rash of lethal hurricanes can be attributed in part to warming oceans.

The heat content of ocean water fuels hurricane formation and strength. As the oceans continue to heat up, expect hurricanes to be larger in both number and force. This will only accelerate the sixth mass extinction.

Ocean heating creates more storms. Land heating creates heat waves and drought. California recently had one of its most epic droughts in history. According to Weather.com, 2013 was the driest year on record for the state.

Droughts are definitely not going extinct. Neither are heat waves.

2017 has seen a large number of deadly record-shattering heat waves. People are literally dying due to the extreme heat. Take a look at this 30-second animation of Earth’s warming trend.

Putting a positive spin on this would be nice. Unfortunately, there’s no bright side to this one, folks. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you believe about climate change.

Species all over the globe are going extinct at an alarming rate, and human activity doesn’t appear to be helping.

Some have even predicted that humanity will be extinct in a decade’s time. It makes sense, given the interconnectedness of all life. Whether we like it or not, our existence is tied in with other life forms whom we share the biosphere with. If the sixth mass extinction event is underway, then it’s only a matter of time before we’re next.

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