Up to 1 million species at risk of extinction, upcoming report says

An ever-growing body of evidence suggests the planet may be in the midst of a sixth mass extinction.

The phrase “mass extinction” typically conjures up images of the asteroid crash that led to the twilight of the dinosaurs. But another devastating (though perhaps less obvious) extinction event appears to be taking place today. The trend is hitting global fauna on multiple fronts, as hotter oceans, deforestation, and climate change drive animal populations down on an unprecedented scale.

Next week, yet another report is expected to back up that idea.

On Monday, the United Nations is scheduled to release a report from its Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) that assesses the state of the planet’s biodiversity. That document, the first such analysis since 2005, evaluates how many species are threatened by extinction and why, how many species have already been lost, and looks at other metrics like population growth and greenhouse-gas emission increases.

The 1,800-page document aggregates research from more than 15,000 academic papers and research publications, and it hopes to inform policy makers on how to better address the effects of climate change.

The AFP appears to have obtained an early draft of the report, and according to their characterization of its findings, things may be even worse than we thought.

The AFP reported in April that the draft describes “an imminent rapid acceleration in the global rate of species extinction,” and goes on to say that “half-a-million to a million species are projected to be threatened with extinction, many within decades.”

The UN is set to release a summary of the full report after it gets finalized at a summit in Paris this weekend.

Wild snow leopards are at risk of extinction because of poaching and habitat loss.
Getty Images/Mark Kolbe

According to the AFP, the draft it obtained also concludes that 75% of land, 40% of oceans and 50% of rivers already “manifest severe impacts of degradation” from human activity. Much of this has to do with greenhouse-gas emissions from energy production, manufacturing, and transportation. Since 1980, the rate of man-made emissions has doubled, leading to a global temperature rise of at least 0.7 degrees Celsius (about 1 degree Fahrenheit).

Although we have yet to read the full report — in-depth coverage from Business Insider will follow its release Monday — the trends that the AFP reported align with other studies about the falling populations of many animal species.

Read more: 16 signs we’re in the middle of a 6th mass extinction

A 2017 study found that species around the world are experiencing a “biological annihilation” and that our current “mass extinction episode has proceeded further than most assume.”

Ema Elsa, a 9-year-old Black Rhino, is nuzzled by her newborn calf.
Phil Noble/Reuters

Roughly 40% of the world’s insect species are in decline. A 2019 study found that the total mass of all insects on the planet is decreasing by 2.5% per year. If that trend continues unabated, the Earth may not have any insects at all by 2119.

Already, there is consensus on one key driver of these alarming extinction trends: human activities. According to a 2014 study, current extinction rates are 1,000 times higher than they would be if humans weren’t around.

The impending UN report will likely confirm that conclusion.

According to the AFP, the report “depicts a planet ravaged by rampant overconsumption and drowning in pollution.”

Source

more recommended stories

  • Epstein had foreign passport to protect him from ‘hijackers’: lawyers

    Jeffrey Epstein, the financier recently charged.

  • Elon Musk’s sister runs passionflix video streaming for romance book movies

    Elon Musk may be the most.

  • The best competing Prime Day 2019 sales — Walmart, Target, eBay, & more

    After four years running, Amazon’s retail.

  • How to set up a custom voicemail greeting on a Galaxy S10

    One of the first things you.

  • I always wanted to be a millionaire and it was nothing like I expected

    Hansson at work. via Basecamp Facebook.

  • Apple AirPod Earbuds Deal: Save $14 to $20 on Amazon Prime Day 2019

    Truly wireless earbuds like Apple’s AirPods.

  • APPLY NOW: Insider Inc. is hiring editorial and video fellows and more

    Insider Inc. has a number of.

  • Video shows men in an over-crowded facility yelling “no shower”

    A video taken and posted on.

  • Sharp and McCann show the future of British boxing is fun and flashy

    02 ARENA, LONDON — Red hot.

  • Jeffrey Epstein launched PR campaign after 2008 sex abuse allegations

    Jeffrey Epstein launched a PR campaign.

  • Prime Day 2019 KitchenAid Stand Mixer deals — sale predictions

    There are some things that never.

  • The best vacuum deals we expect to see during Prime Day 2019

    No matter how diligently you clean.

  • Asylum seeker describes baby’s death from poor medical care in ICE custody

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A Guatemalan mother.

  • A new holding center for migrant children opened in rural Texas

    CARRIZO SPRINGS, Texas (AP) — A.

  • Video seems to show Trump embrace staffer who says he forcibly kissed

    President Donald Trump’s attorneys were accused.

  • How to back up photos from an iPhone with iCloud storage

    If you’re someone who loves taking.

  • Famous people who have flown on Jeffrey Epstein’s private plane

    The financier Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted.

  • 9 questions you should ask flight attendants next time you fly

    Getting on a plane is a.

  • DOJ to swap interpreters with videos at immigration hearings

    The Department of Justice is planning.

  • Federal court ruled against bikini baristas at Washington coffee bars

    Women serving coffee at the Hillbilly.

  • Greece election: Conservative party beats left-wing prime minister

    In his concession speech, Mr Tsipras.

  • Photos of US Navy guided missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham

    During the final days of June,.

  • No-deal Brexit: Boris Johnson to be hit by dozens of new Tory rebels

    LONDON — Dozens more Conservative MPs.

  • Turkey is last major Islamic state not to stand up for China’s Muslims

    In recent months, a wave of.

  • PHOTOS: Sophie Turner’s wedding dress with husband Joe Jonas

    Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas had.

  • The winners and losers of the opening days of NBA free agency

    The NBA offseason has been fast.

  • European stocks are jumping as traders bet on loose Fed policy, while US markets break for the Fourth of July

    Ritzau Scanpix Denmark/Reuters US markets were.

  • Megan Rapinoe shuts down critics: ‘I think I’m extremely American’

    Megan Rapinoe has been no stranger.

  • Steve Irwin and son fed the same crocodile 15 years apart

    Steve Irwin’s 15-year-old son Bob is.

  • Serena Williams will wait before giving Meghan Markle parenting advice

    Serena Williams says she will wait.

  • Stocks are dropping on trade-war jitters after Trump threatens another $4 billion in tariffs on EU goods

    Assoicated Press/Alex Brandon US stocks slid.

  • I went to Times Square to see why tourists love it

    Growing up on Long Island, I.