- A study confirmed that the activities carried out severed all branches from the tree of life.
- According to researchers, the sixth mass extinction is causing the tree of life to rapidly disintegrate.
- It was determined that climate change also creates instability on the ecosystem.
“The trajectory of evolution is changing globally and the conditions that make human life possible are disappearing,” the ecologists write in their new article. “This is an irreversible path that threatens the continuity of civilization and the livability of future environments for humans,” he warned.
In the past few months, the sixth mass extinction has become visible. We witnessed mass seabird deaths. Shores were littered with dead fish and sea lions were poisoned by algal blooms caused by the heat.
Ecologist Gerardo Ceballos of the National Autonomous University of Mexico and Stanford University conservation biologist Paul Ehrlich evaluated species extinctions since AD 1500 and compared them to the last 500 million years. They announced that we have driven 73 species of backbone animals to extinction in the last 500 years. Without human influence, it would have taken 18,000 years for the same number of species to become extinct. Other studies have found similar rates for plants, fungi and invertebrate life.
It can have serious consequences for the loss of groups of species that perform specific functions in the interconnected web of life. Regarding this, Ceballos and Ehrilch say, “We and all other species developed and evolved within a stable tree of life. Therefore, the loss of all other ecological functions directly affects us,” they said.
Climate change alone creates major instability in these systems, disrupting the critical timing of ecosystem services such as pollination and allowing new species to more easily invade.
A study documented exactly this process in a stream located in an arid land in Arizona between 1985 and 2019.
“Our study provides evidence that changes caused by climate change in the mechanisms underlying long-term community stability lead to an overall destabilizing effect,” Junna Wang and her team explained.
“Unprecedented political, economic and social efforts are essential to prevent these extinctions and their societal impacts,” Ceballos and Ehrlich said.
Compiled by: Davut Bulut