Life at UCB through the eyes of our student bloggers

World’s 6th Mass Extinction

World’s 6th Mass Extinction

Hello again!

Are we causing mass extinction?! Do you think it’s possible that we are going through the world’s 6th mass extinction?

3.5 billion years ago the first-ever living thing on earth was created! So far there have been 5 mass extinctions on planet earth and all of them were created through natural causes such as:

  • naturally occurring global warming (from volcanoes, the Siberian traps and Viluy traps)
  • asteroids landing on earth
  • oxygen levels plummeting
  • the planet rapidly cooling due to CO2 being sucked out of the atmosphere by newly formed mountains which may have been triggered by huge glaciation

Lava Flowing

Extinction Today

It is believed that humans are the cause for today’s extinction through activities such as:

  • Mass farming causing a lack of biodiversity in plants and species
  • Deforestation causing manmade global warming
  • Hunting
  • Overfishing/whaling to critical levels
  • Pollution to our land, atmosphere and oceans
  • Overuse of fossil fuels and drilling for oil
  • Overpopulation of humans and our intelligence has left us unrestricted… unless we stop ourselves. If we don’t stop ourselves, we will keep using up our natural resources on earth until there is nothing left.

All of the above activities have severely impacted our natural ecosystem.

“Anything that we can’t do forever is by definition unsustainable!” – David Attenborough

Even though the Siberian Traps released more than 1,400 times the CO2 than humans did in 2018 from burning fossil fuels, humans are emitting greenhouse gases at a much faster rate than the Siberian Traps. Meaning Earth’s climate is rapidly changing as a result.

Bird's Eye View Of Farmland

A great discovery

“When the first man set foot on the moon and the whole world saw the Earth as a blue sphere in the blackness… it completely changed the mindset of the population. Our home was not limitless. There was an edge to our existence. It was a rediscovery of a fundamental truth. We are ultimately bound by, and reliant upon, the finite natural world about us.” – David Attenborough

Photo of Moon

Animals and species today are rapidly declining in population… even our close relatives – the monkeys!

It is thought that bees are the most important species on the planet as they pollinate food crops… however, every single species on Earth has played an integral role for a healthy environment and the planet’s survival.

David Attenborough has documented his Witness Statement which shows how the planet has been destroyed throughout his lifetime and you can watch it here! I really love this documentary and hope that a lot more people are aware of it.

Close Up Photo of Bee on Top of Purple Flower

The time for change is now

If we don’t learn to live with nature and protect our planet, throughout the following years, the 6th mass extinction will unfold through the following events:

  • 2030s – the Amazon rainforest completely burns down, altering the global water cycle
  • 2030s – the Arctic becomes ice-free during the summer, increasing the speed of global warming
  • 2040s – frozen soils in the north will thaw releasing methane into the atmosphere, also increasing the speed of climate change
  • 2050s – coral reefs in the ocean die due to the ocean being acidic. Fish populations crash
  • 2080s – soils become exhausted from overuse meaning global food production enters a crisis. Pollinating insects disappear. Weather is more unpredictable
  • 2100s – our planet is 4 degrees hotter. Large parts of the earth are uninhabitable. Millions of people left homeless

Free stock photo of activist, appeal, change

A lot of companies have created a masterplan and claim to reduce their emissions by 2030 or 2050. Companies are also pledging to become plastic-free and more countries are taking action to protect their oceans. It is not just up to the government and organisations to change the way we impact our planet… it is also down to us!

David Attenborough explains in his new film how we can positively make a difference and thrive on our planet without depleting it!

Will you take part in positively impacting our planet?

Lake and Mountain

Thanks for reading!

Charley x