“Brown University scientists in Providence found that the pre-human extinction rate was 10 times lower than scientists had believed, which means that the current level is 10 times worse.
- Nature is thought to kill off one in every ten million animals each year
- Past estimates put it at 10 yearly extinctions for 10 million species
- Since mankind arrived on Earth, more than 1,000 out of every 10 million species have been dying out each year, a recent study discovered
- Study looked at fossils and genetic variation in a species’ family tree
- It claims future extinction rates are likely to be 10,000 times higher
GR: The Earth could get along just fine without us. If anyone can think of an ecosystem function that requires our presence, I would like to hear about it. Circumstantial and fossil evidence indicates that even when human numbers were small, the fires, animal drives, and plant preferences had harmful effects. Ecosystem resilience absorbed early human impacts, but now with more than seven billion of us, the impacts are simply overwhelming earth ecosystems. Livestock? Earth could tolerate a few domestic beasts, but not the billions we have now.