Scientists have found in a new report that while the end of the world is on the way, it could take longer than previously calculated.
Since its formation about 4.5 billion years ago, the Earth has experienced five mass extinctions, with about 75% of life on the planet destroyed in 2.8 million years, which is just the blink of an eye on a cosmic scale. The most famous of these extinctions is the giant asteroid Chicxulub, which wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. The devastation caused by the asteroid was historic, with 76 percent of the world’s species wiped out due to its impact and aftermath.
Scientists have long warned that the Earth may already be in its sixth mass extinction, with anthropogenic climate change exposing billions of species to extinction.
In a new study, scientists predict that while this horrific event may already be happening, it could take much longer to peak than previously expected.
In a new study on the sixth mass extinction, titled “Relationship between extinction size and climate change during major marine and terrestrial animal crises,” researchers are assessing when the next mass extinction will occur.
In a study by Kunio Kayo, a Japanese climatologist at Tohoku University, found that there is an almost proportional relationship between the average temperature of the Earth’s surface and the Earth’s biodiversity.
As the average surface temperature rises or falls more than usual, more creatures die.
Professor Caillou found that, like previous apocalyptic events, the drop in Earth’s surface temperature led to the most mass extinctions when temperatures dropped by 7°C.
At the other end of the thermometer, such devastating damage occurred at a temperature of about 9 degrees Celsius.
Today, world leaders, climate scientists and activists are fighting to keep the Earth’s temperature below 1.5°C below pre-industrial levels.
However, a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimated that, on its current trajectory, humanity is on track to see global warming exceed 3°C by 2030, which could lead to the extinction of millions of species.
Scientists have previously warned that global temperatures would only need to rise by 5.2 degrees Celsius to trigger a mass extinction comparable to the previous five.
However, Professor Caillou said: “It is difficult to predict the extent of future anthropogenic extinctions using surface temperatures alone, because the causes of human extinctions are different from the causes of mass extinctions in geologic time.”