One million species are going to go extinct in nature crisis

May 13th, 2019

Climate change has been an ongoing issue for as long as humans have been on this earth and have consumed products. Our growing population and need for more is beginning to take its toll on our planet. Now there is more than just climate change to worry about. In a recent article from CNN, one million species of life will be wiped out in the near future if we don’t do something about our toll on the environment.

The report was created by the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Diversity and Ecosystem Services, also known as IPBES for short. The IPBES is a UN committee that had a group of 145 experts from 50 different countries write report that is being described as the most comprehensive assessment of global nature loss. This report comes just 6 months after another UN committee, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, warned everyone that we have 12 years to avoid catastrophic levels of global warming.

The most important idea being thrown around here is biodiversity, something humans have the most impact on. Biodiversity is the variety of life in the world or in a certain ecosystem or habitat. We impact this in our everyday lives through farming, fishing, clear-cutting, and other unsustainable practices.

The report states that more than 40% of amphibian species, 30% of coral reefs, and 1/3 or marine mammals are all at risk of being wiped out. “The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever,” said Sir Robert Watson, IPBES chair, adding that “transformative change” is needed to save the planet.

The IPBES report sites 5 main drivers of causes of extinction: changes in land and sea use, direct exploitation of organisms (like overfishing), climate change, pollution, and invasive alien species. With these statistics its clear to see humans impact. Humans are responsible for altering 75% of Earth’s land and 66% of marine ecosystems, plus our population has nearly doubled in the last 50 years.

Despite the ominous picture “it is not too late to make a difference, but only if we start now at every level from local to global,” said Watson, adding that this would require a complete overhaul of economic systems and also a shift in political and social mindsets. Other authors of the reports say that governments should act now to avoid a “dire future in 10-20 years” when food and climate security is in jeopardy.

Climate change has become a more prevalent issue in the political world. Marches have taken place globally and in the U.S, more and more political figures are moving their focus to making a plan and making a change. The IPBES is hoping that this report will have the same effect as climate change had on politics, and will put the loss of nature into the global spotlight.

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