Animals: Extinction Event and Major Mass Extinctions Essay

Submitted By wollyvaeh2212
Words: 370
Pages: 2

We all studied the extinction of dinosaurs in middle school. We know that, two hundred fifty million years ago, more than 90% of the planet species became extinct. There have been five major mass extinctions during the life history of planet earth. Scientists now agree that we are experiencing a sixth major extinction. The big difference between the older events and now is, “unlike earlier extinctions, this one results from the work of a single species, Homo sapiens. We are relentlessly taking over the planet, laying it to waste and eliminating most of our fellow species” . We should care about this man-made extinction for a lot of reasons, including the interconnectedness of life, our moral obligation to take care of our planet, and even economic factors. In the past, extinctions were caused by natural disasters, such as volcanic eruptions during the Permian period, and asteroid impact during the Cretaceous extinction. These major events caused global warming by increasing CO2 in the atmosphere, and shut down photosynthesis by blocking sunlight with a huge cloud of debris. Both of these catastrophes altered the Earth’s climate radically, which caused the extinctions. The current extinction is not being caused by natural factors, but by us. “Rates of species extinction have increased rapidly since the early Holocene epoch, chiefly due to activities of humans; further acceleration of extinction rates began approximately 1600 AD, with the onset of accelerated human population growth and expanded scope of agriculture”. We have