One million species are going extinct

Cole Marullo, Reporter

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On Monday, the UN’s Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services dropped a summary of an upcoming 1,500-page report on the state of biodiversity of Earth. The report has 145 authors from 50 countries, and it sums up about 15,000 scientific papers on the threats against life in the age of humans. The report has not yet been released. On Monday, the UN released a 40-page summary of its findings for the media and the press. Inside the report, it talks about all types of species; mammals, birds, amphibians, insects, plants, marine life, terrestrial life — are disappearing at a rate “tens to hundreds times higher than the average over the last 10 million years” and this is all being caused by human activity.

The report says that more than 40% of amphibian species, almost 33% of reef-forming corals and more than a third of all marine mammals are threatened, and more than 600 vertebrate species also went extinct in the 16th century. When we classify endangered species, there are three different categories that they put species into depending on how severe that animals species is doing. One of the three categories is “Vulnerable” this is when a species could possibly go extinct or has a small chance of going extinct. “Endangered” is when a species could actually go extinct, and then “critically endangered” when a species is really close to going extinct and is already almost instinct.

Some reasons as to why these species are going extinct in the SUN page report said that global climate change is third on this list, but considering that, since 1980, greenhouse gas emissions have doubled, which rose the average temperature about 0.7 degrees celsius. Fourth and fifth on this list are pollution and invasive alien species. The report says that 400 million tons of metals, toxic sludge, and other wastes are dumped into oceans and rivers every year, and alien species, such as rats, mosquitoes, snakes, and plants that get in on ships or airplanes are becoming more widespread.


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