The Sixth Species Extinction Event by Humans
Keywords:6th, mass extinction, humans, conservation, sustainability, climate change
The number of species becoming extinct has drawn a significant deal of attention from scientists and non-scientists alike. This research reviews recent literature citing evidence for the impact humans have had on our planet and how our biological systems are affected in both known species of flora and fauna as well as unknown species of flora and fauna, the latter lacking documentation as well as sightings by humans. Theoretical research is derived from previous research investigating the impacts of humankind’s use of the land as well as population increases. Though there are many different definitions of what a mass extinction is and gradations of extinction intensity, a conservative approach is used to assess the seriousness of the current ongoing extinction crisis, setting the highest level of recognition for mass extinction, in extreme diversity loss associated with the Big Five extinction events (Barnosky, 2011). Understanding the relationship between extinction and functional diversity over time will be critical for making conservation work (Boyer & Jetz, 2014). If another mass extinction is allowed to progress, it would mean the end of biodiversity as we know it and would also mean that greater pressure would be placed on both humans and flora and fauna to survive in a world completely changed by the Anthropocene. Over the course of 8,000-10,000 years, humans grew in population and changed the landscape of the Earth (Foley, 2013). The research concludes that focus should be on preserving the environment and future research should be performed on the study of unknown species.