World Now on Brink of 6th "Great Extinction"

A new study from noted biologist Stuart Pimm of Duke University has measured the rate at which species are currently going extinct and concludes that the plant is on the brink of a sixth massive extinction of plant and animal life.

What's the Latest?


A new study from noted biologist Stuart Pimm of Duke University has measured the rate at which species are currently going extinct and concludes that the plant is on the brink of a sixth massive extinction of plant and animal life. "Species of plants and animals are becoming extinct at least 1,000 times faster than they did before humans arrived on the scene," says the study, which also quantifies past rates of species extinction. Pimm identifies the number-one cause of rapid extinction as habitat loss. "Species are finding no place to live as more places are built up and altered by humans."

What's the Big Idea?

"Five times, a vast majority of the world's life has been snuffed out in what have been called mass extinctions, often associated with giant meteor strikes." Other major contributing factors to the current accelerated rate of extinction include invasive species crowding out native species, climate change affecting where species can survive, and overfishing. But the next great extinction does not have to occur. Whether the human species kills off the diversity on which the planetary ecosystem depends will be determined by our collective action. 

Read more at the Huffington Post

Related Articles
Playlists
Keep reading Show less

Five foods that increase your psychological well-being

These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.

Mind & Brain

We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.

Keep reading Show less

For the 99%, the lines are getting blurry

Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.

What is the middle class now, anyway? (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs

For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.

Keep reading Show less