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Earth’s sixth mass extinction

This article refers to the news report ‘Scientists warn: We are heading towards Earth’s sixth mass extinction’.1

Major environmental degradation is leading to further deterioration of the environment and human lives.

The burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity and power is sending large quantities of greenhouse gases up into the atmosphere and causing the world to warm up.2 This has a negative impact on the availability of fresh water, a decrease in ice masses, water scarcity, climatic shifts, temperature rise, and extreme weather events. 3

With a growing and ageing population, millions of hectares of forest are being destroyed for agricultural purposes. Crop yields are declining and greenhouse gas emissions are increasing due to rising agricultural production inefficiencies, deforestation and urbanisation.

The forests are the only source of wood and firewood. If these forests are cleared, the carbon dioxide held by the vegetation will be released back into the atmosphere, further increasing the earth’s temperature.4

There is no doubt about it: if we continue to ignore global warming, this sixth mass extinction event will happen.

Paris Climate Agreement

Meanwhile, climate experts warn that Trump’s decision regarding the Paris Climate Agreement will put the US, the third-worst polluter in the world, in an even more dire situation. Trump announced his decision to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement, saying that he would seek a renegotiation of the accord, which was signed in 2015.5

According to experts, US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord will slow down global efforts to avoid climate catastrophe.6 They stressed that Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement would increase the risks of sea-level rise, and habitats being destroyed.

The stark warning to humanity from climate experts of another mass extinction paired with Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Agreement is troubling to say the least. If the world doesn’t adopt clean energy and prohibit polluting, this sixth mass extinction event will happen soon.

However, there are some people that are refusing to listen to this truth. Now, when even the United States refuses to act on climate change, what will people do? If we fail to take a stand, we will become extinct, fast.

REFERENCES:

[1] Earth’s sixth mass extinction event under way, scientists warn, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/10/earths-sixth-mass-extinction-event-already-underway-scientists-warn

[2] Fossil Fuels: The Dirty Facts, https://www.nrdc.org/stories/fossil-fuels-dirty-facts#sec-disadvantages

[3] Effects of global warming, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/global-warming-effects/

[4] Deforestation and Its Extreme Effect on Global Warming, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/deforestation-and-global-warming/

[5] On the U.S. Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, https://www.state.gov/on-the-u-s-withdrawal-from-the-paris-agreement/

[6] Effect of the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, https://climateactiontracker.org/press/effect-of-the-us-withdrawal-from-the-paris-agreement

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