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Mass extinction of up to 90 PERCENT of all marine species could happen by the end of the century if greenhouse gases are not contained, new study warns
- Experts looked at climate risk of nearly 25,000 marine species worldwide
- The results show that up to 90 percent of species will be extinct by 2100
- This will happen if people don’t reduce greenhouse gas emissions by then
- Mammals, rays and sharks are most at risk of extinction
Nearly 90 percent of all marine species are at high or critical risk of extinction by the end of the century if humans don’t curb greenhouse gas emissions, a new study warns.
A team of researchers led by Dalhousie University in Canada evaluated the climate risks of nearly 25,000 species living in the top 100 meters of the ocean and found that a large number will disappear from the planet by 2100 if emissions reach high levels. remain or a ‘business as usual’ scenario.
This would mean a mass die-off of thousands of animals, plants, chromists, protozoa and bacteria that call the world’s oceans their home.
The analysis shows that a “disproportionate number” of sharks, rays and mammals are at high or critical climate risk — 75 percent of them are expected to become extinct by 2100.
All of the endangered species also live in some of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the Gulf of Thailand, the Coral Triangle, Northern Australia, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, nearshore India, the Caribbean, and some Pacific islands.
The study looked at nearly 25,000 marine species to determine how many will disappear by the end of the century due to man-made greenhouse gases — and the team found up to 90 percent
The study also found that the apex predators are more at risk of extinction than those lower in the food chain, according to the study published in Nature.
The team focused on the species that live in the upper part of the ocean, because this is where “climate-driven temperature changes are most severe.”
The greatest vulnerability was found in large, long-lived species that are heavily exploited and critical to conservation.
For example, the study notes the Chinese puffer fish in a highly affected nearshore location near China under the high-emission scenario.
The analysis shows that a ‘disproportionate number’ of sharks, rays and mammals are at high or critical climate risk – 75 percent of them are expected to become extinct by 2100. Pictured is a shortfin mako shark considered endangered since 2018
The study also found that the apex predators are more at risk of extinction than those lower in the food chain. If they go extinct, their absence will shake up the ecosystem. The map above shows where sharks are threatened and mammals are highlighted below
The Galapagos damselfish, which live around the Galapagos Islands and the coast of Costa Rica, are also considered the highest vulnerability group.
The lowest vulnerability score is for a short-lived, vertically migratory, mesopelagic, pan-global species, the bluntsnout lanternfish, at an offshore location under the low-emission scenario.
Daniel Boyce, an ecologist at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, and author of the study, said: ABC news the findings are “quite shocking and very sobering.”
“I’d like to think that’s an incredible scenario,” Boyce said.
“But still, it’s the worst-case scenario. And when we evaluated that scenario, we found that there was a very grim picture for the climate risk for marine species.”
Not only would these creatures no longer roam the seas, but their disappearance has major implications for the ecosystem, as it would disrupt the food chain.
The last time 90 percent of life was wiped out from Earth was 252 million years ago during what’s called the Great Dying.
Scientists have linked what has become known as the “Great Dying” to a series of massive volcanic eruptions in Siberia that filled the atmosphere with greenhouse gas.
By spewing carbon and methane into the atmosphere for about 2 million years, the eruption helped about 96 percent of ocean life and 70 percent of terrestrial vertebrates — the largest extinction event in Earth’s history.
WHAT WAS THE PERMIAN MASS EXTERMINATION, KNOWN AS ‘THE GREAT DYING’ THAT KILLED 9 OUT OF 10 SPECIES?
About 248 million years ago, the Permian period ended and the Triassic period began on Earth.
The boundary between these two geological eras is marked by the Permian mass extinction, nicknamed ‘The Great Dying’.
This catastrophic event wiped out almost all life on Earth.
Scientists believe that about 95 percent of all marine life perished in the mass extinction, and less than a third of life on land survived the event.
In total, 90 percent of all life is believed to have been wiped out.
All life on Earth stems from roughly ten percent of the animals, plants, and microbes that survived the mass extinction of the Permian.
It was previously believed that a massive eruption covered Earth in thick smog, preventing the sun’s rays from reaching the planet’s surface.
New findings, however, suggest that a massive volcanic eruption that lasted nearly a million years released a huge reservoir of deadly chemicals into the atmosphere that stripped the Earth of its ozone layer.
This eradicated the only protection Earth’s inhabitants had against the deadly UV rays of the sun.
This high-energy form of radiation can cause significant damage to living organisms, skyrocketing the death toll.