Our planet's slow-motion mass extinction

Credit: Bart van Dorp via Flickr

So the other day we were taking our species to task for making us the trailer trash of the universe because of our penchant for killing and befouling our own nests.

Yeah, we know, a pleasant way to begin a Friday. Try being the one in six species attempting to enjoy their Friday knowing they may become extinct over the next century thanks to climate change, according to an analysis of data published Thursday in the journal Science.

University of Connecticut ecology professor Mark Urban synthesized published data to "estimate a global mean extinction rate and determine which factors contribute the greatest uncertainty to climate change–induced extinction risks."

Here's what Urban concluded:

Results suggest that extinction risks will accelerate with future global temperatures, threatening up to one in six species under current policies. Extinction risks were highest in South America, Australia, and New Zealand, and risks did not vary by taxonomic group.

We urgently need to adopt strategies that limit further climate change if we are to avoid an acceleration of global extinctions.  

See, you don't have to agree that humans are causing global warming to realize that it can have some disastrous effects. Losing one in six species could wreak havoc with the food chain. Also, hunters, that would mean far fewer animals to shoot. C'mon, NRA, take the lead on this! The Sierra Club could use a heavily armed partner.

Get it together before it's too late, humans. 

This story, "Our planet's slow-motion mass extinction" was originally published by Fritterati.