We are staring mass extinction in the face, according to a new study published in Science.
Researchers Justin L. Penn and Curtis Deutsch conducted a survey of our latest data on climate change and the future of our oceans. Unfortunately, the results were beyond frightening for the team.
“Under normal global temperature increases, marine systems are likely to experience mass extinctions comparable to past major extinctions based solely on ecophysiological boundaries,” the study found.
Warming water, loss of species, and oxygen depletion were noted as critical concerns stemming from growing greenhouse gas emissions.
Currently, polar species remain the most threatened. Next come local biological ecosystems, which decline in tropical regions as species have been forced to migrate away from the equator.
Two hundred and fifty-two million years ago, Earth experienced the “Great Death” – its greatest mass extinction to date. In fact, more than ninety percent of ocean life and seventy percent of life on land have disappeared from the face of the planet.
If greenhouse gas emissions continue to soar, researchers believe Earth could face similar levels of extinction again by 2300.
Devastated by the results of their study, the research team also called for “swift action”. They think it’s not too late to avoid a major extinction.
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