Studies indicate that mass extinctions and global temperature changes are interlinked with how the climate changes. This correlation gives scientists an optimistic view regarding future extinction events.
Acid rain, ozone depletion, desertification, and soil erosion are major causes of volcanic eruptions and meteors. Both are significant catalysts for environmental wipe-outs — and if that doesn’t seem alarming, just remember that events like these are precisely what caused the extinction of the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago. Yes, the event began with a meteor, but that only triggered the eco-disaster that led to their quick demise.
In fact, mass extinctions like that which the dinosaurs faced have happened five times since the Phanerozoic Eon, a period which stretches over 539 million years to now. And it's only recently that research has shown how climate change may coincide heavily with mass extinction rates.
These massive environmental events and temperature shifts were analysed to prove the extinction phenomenon. At each of these cataclysmic events, the extinction rate coincided with a > 7°C to 9°C temperature differentiation for marine life and a >7°C change for land life. Thus, confirming that the two events interact as the change in temperature coincides with the loss of animal life.
So, what does this tell us? Well, it negates the previous theory that the temperature needs to increase or decrease by 5°C for a similar event to happen. The fact that the global temperature now needs to be 7°C higher or lower means that another extinction event won’t happen until 2500. With the temperature slowly changing, species can adapt. So, it is rather unlikely another mass extinction will happen if the global temperature continues to change with environmental life correspondingly.
With the London fires and other extremes, it’s a small wonder that climate change is a worrying blip on the horizon. But although we won’t face a similar event, the changes we’re introducing to the environment will greatly reduce the quality of life and limit the survival of numerous species through to the next century. The question we now have to ask ourselves, if the cataclysm isn’t coming soon, is how well do we want to live until then?
Sources: Copernicus, sciencedaily
About the author - meet Earthan Rebecca Brown
Rebecca is a literary student with an avid interest in the environment. She adores all animals (especially dogs) and loves reading and playing tennis. She hopes to get into the copywriting business one day. You can reach Rebecca on her LinkedIn bio.