Among the eight planets of the solar system, Earth should have been a very ordinary rocky body. There are three other such planets in the solar system, Mercury, Venus and Mars, but what is special about Earth is that it gave birth to life. The primitive oceans of the Earth gave birth to life about 3.8 billion years ago, and after a long time of development and evolution, the Earth today presents a vibrant scene with a conservative estimate of 3-5 million species existing on the planet.
According to Darwin's theory of biological evolution, the survival of the fittest, in the face of a changing natural environment, organisms that do not adapt means to be eliminated, the sudden change in the living environment for the biological impact is very large.
In the last 500-600 million years, there have been at least twenty major and minor species extinction events on Earth, the most serious of which are five, the last of which occurred 65 million years ago when a 10-kilometer diameter asteroid hit the surface of the Earth, causing the extinction of dinosaurs that had ruled the planet for 160 million years, and some of the surviving dinosaurs developed to become the " fried chicken" on our table today.
After the extinction of the dinosaurs, there is ample living space and survival resources, like a "hundred wastes to revive" the situation, for the Earth's creatures is also the same, only to see who can seize this opportunity.
The mammals have survived the hard times, in the dinosaur era mammals actually existed, but because there was not enough living space and resources, so they were smaller, they had to survive in the cracks. The extinction of the dinosaurs gave way to the ecological position, mammals quickly seized the opportunity to quickly rise in about 10 million years, becoming the new "hegemon" after the dinosaurs.
The emergence of human beings is based on the development of mammals to rise, so in a sense, the emergence of human civilization is still thanks to that asteroid, thanks to the extinction of dinosaurs.
But with the rapid development of human rise, the earth's ecological environment climate has caused a negative impact, while according to the rate of species extinction disappearance, scientists have been worried about the arrival of the sixth biological extinction, perhaps saying that the sixth species extinction has arrived. For example, in 2015, American scientists had published a relevant research paper in Science Advances, arguing that the sixth biological mass extinction event is likely to have arrived.
Five larger-scale species extinction events are known.
The first was 450 million years ago in the Ordovician, 85% of the species disappeared; the second occurred 360 million years ago in the Devonian, mainly marine life suffered a heavy blow; the third occurred 250 million years ago at the end of the Permian, a large number of species disappeared extinct, but of course it is this extinction event to bring the dinosaurs the opportunity to develop; the fourth extinction event was 200 million years ago in the late Triassic, reptiles suffered The fourth extinction event was in the late Triassic period 200 million years ago, reptiles suffered a serious injury; and the last biological extinction has been mentioned in the previous article, is 65 million years ago the extinction of dinosaurs.
15,364 scientists join statement to warn of sixth species mass extinction
In 1992, about 1,700 scientists jointly warned that humans were on a collision course with nature, in other words that human activities were affecting the natural environment and the Earth's climate. These scientists believe that mankind's dependence on fossil energy and the destruction of forests are affecting the natural and climatic environment.
But 25 years later, many of the conditions presented at the time do not appear to have changed, and these scientists looked to aggregate some key data, with population growth of 35% over the past 25 years and a 26% reduction in freshwater resources per capita due to environmental damage resulting in contamination of freshwater resources. Not only that, the number of amphibians, mammals, reptiles and birds on Earth has decreased by 29%.
The second warning, issued jointly by 15,365 scientists in 2017, argues that the human impact on the Earth's climate and environment is still intensifying and is likely to lead to the sixth biological extinction, even if it is currently in the course of the sixth biological extinction, and hopes to raise public awareness of global environmental and climate issues.
Claims of a sixth biological mass extinction have actually always existed, but it is not so easy to draw firm conclusions because even extinction events, which occur over a longer period of time, are not so easy to detect.
For example, a study by a team of American and French biologists published in the journal Biological Reviews in early January 10, 2022, concluded that the planet is experiencing a sixth biological extinction event and that humans are to blame.
Although many scientists do not support such a view, it is still of concern to some. Scientists believe that in the last 1,500 years, at least 150,000-260,000 of the 2 million known species have become extinct, with extinction rates of 7.5%-13%.
The challenges facing humanity
The Earth is the only home for mankind at present, and will be so for a long time from now to the future, and the damage to the Earth's environment and the climate is self-destructive. Stephen Hawking mentioned more than once during his lifetime that as the greenhouse effect worsens, the Earth will get hotter and hotter in the future, even turning into a big fireball.
Climate change is a cliché, but the climate change will bring what is very abstract, but in recent years this impact appeared, climate change to extreme weather, for example, in 2021 in North America appeared extreme rare high temperature weather, breaking decades of records, not only that in all parts of the appearance of heavy rain, snowstorms and even extreme low temperatures are endless.
Mankind's over-reliance on fossil energy sources has led to excessive emissions of greenhouse gases, while the destruction of forest resources has affected the absorption of carbon dioxide, with the end result being a continuous increase in the average temperature of the planet.
The Earth is getting hotter and hotter, also leading to continued melting of glaciers at the North and South Poles rising sea levels, harmful pathogens frozen in the glaciers entering the marine ecosystem, and the remains of some animal carcasses frozen in ancient times, also melted and exposed in the Siberian permafrost, all of which are potential threats.
Say it at the end
On the sixth species extinction event whether or when we do not consider, but to know is that there are species on Earth every moment in extinction, if the natural environment changes can not adapt to the extinction can be justified, as the so-called survival of the fittest, but the disappearance of many species extinction are directly or indirectly related to humans. If the sixth species extinction really happens, the culprit may be us, and we may be the first to bear the brunt.
Text/science black hole, image source network invasion deleted.