29 june 2011
Globally significant extinction may have begun in the oceans
London: An international panel of marine experts warns in a recent report that the world’s ocean is at high risk of entering a phase of extinction of marine species unprecedented in human history.
Many species face extinction ‘within one human generation’ says a global panel of scientists, also suggesting that the state of the seas was ‘much worse than we thought’. Another report suggests that oceans are degenerating far faster than predicted due to the cumulative impact of a number of severe individual stresses, ranging from climate warming and sea-water acidification, to widespread chemical pollution and gross overfishing.
These factors are threatening the marine environment with a catastrophe “unprecedented in human history”, according to the report by a panel of leading marine scientists. The stark suggestion made by the panel is that the potential extinction of species, from large fish at one end of the scale to tiny corals at the other, is directly comparable to the five great mass extinctions in the geological record, during each of which much of the world’s life died out.