Scientists warn of mass extinction of marine species

A panel of experts is warning that the oceans are in a worse state than originally thought.

In a new report, experts from various disciplines such as coral-reef ecologists and fisheries scientists conclude that ocean life is “at high risk of entering a phase of extinction of marine species unprecedented in human history.”

Carl Gustaf Lundin is the director of the Global Marine and Polar Program at the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which helped produce the report with the International Program on the State of the Ocean (IPSO).

“We’ve seen five major rounds of extinctions in the past. And they were generally associated with cosmic events like a big strike of a meteorite or massive volcanic eruptions — things like that,” Lundin tells RFE/RL.

“But now we’re actually the ones causing this massive decline ourselves. So we are heading into a massive sixth extinction.”

Lundin says the team found firm evidence that human-induced impacts such as climate change, overfishing, and nutrient runoff from farming have already caused a dramatic decline in ocean health.

Antoine Blua, Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, 21 June 2011. Full article.


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