50% des espèces disparues d’ici la fin du siècle

[MotherJones] It is a fact widely accepted by biologists but little known by the population at large. By the end of the century, half of all species on Earth may be extinct. Who will survive the world’s dwindling biodiversity, and why?

April 25, 2007

Scientists recognize that species continually disappear at a background extinction rate estimated at about one species per million species per year, with new species replacing the lost in a sustainable fashion. Occasional mass extinctions convulse this orderly norm, followed by excruciatingly slow recoveries as new species emerge from the remaining gene pool until the world is once again repopulated by a different catalog of flora and fauna. …

Today we’re living through the sixth great extinction, sometimes known as the Holocene extinction event. We carried its seeds with us 50,000 years ago as we migrated beyond Africa with Stone Age blades, darts, and harpoons, entering pristine Ice Age ecosystems and changing them forever by wiping out at least some of the unique megafauna of the times, including, perhaps, the saber-toothed cats and woolly mammoths. When the ice retreated, we terminated the long and biologically rich epoch sometimes called the Edenic period with assaults from our newest weapons: hoes, scythes, cattle, goats, pigs.

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