Humans Pushing Up Extinction Rates Faster Than Species Can Evolve

You've probably heard the stat that extinction rates are currently somewhere between 100-1000 times historic levels, which is bad enough, but now the Guardian reports the head of the Species Survival Commission for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature says that we've "almost certainly" crossed the threshold where species aren't evolving fast enough to keep up with increasing extinction rates.


In fact Simon Stuart went on the say that predictions made by biologist EO Wilson that the extinction rate could hit 10,000 times the background rate by 2030 are bearing out.

All the evidence is he's right. Some people claim it already is that...things can only have deteriorated because of the drivers of the losses, such as habitat loss and climate change, are getting worse. But we haven't measured extinction rates again since 2004 and because our current estimates contain a tenfold range there has to be a very big deterioration or improvement to pick up a change.

For those wondering what this background rate talk is about, the fossil record shows that historically there has been a steady rate of extinction of about one per million species every year.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.