One million extinctions

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has produced a new report (summary here) claiming that human activity is currently threatening the extinction of one million species (IPBES, NYT, BBC, BBC, Al Jazeera, CBC).  The full report (1,500 pages (NYT) or 1,800 pages (Al Jazeera), depending upon whom you ask) is due out later this year.  While climate change is mentioned, the report pointed to several drivers of potential extinction.  These findings harmonize with an earlier article by Maxwell et al. that pointed to habitat degradation and exploitation as primary drivers of extinction.  Kolbert (2014) describes our anthropocene era as the sixth great extinction event in known history.  It’s difficult to put into perspective how tragic this all is.  I’m sorry I don’t have a witty punchline for this one.  Maybe I’ll go reread the Mueller report to cheer myself up.


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