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Can mankind survive a 6th mass extinction ?

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Maas
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« on: August 20, 2015, 12:20:14 am »

Can mankind survive a 6th mass extinction ?
Posted on Thursday, 13 August, 2015



Could mankind ultimately survive an apocalyptic event ? Image Credit: NASA

Scientists have warned that the human race may be just as likely to disappear as a rare animal species.
When we consider the possibility of a major disaster wiping out a large percentage of life on Earth we tend to take it for granted that our own species would go on, especially given our dominance of the planet and our unique ability to employ technological solutions to complex problems.

According to a new report by scientists from the University of Leeds however mankind may be no more likely to survive a mass extinction than a species of animal that is currently endangered.

To reach this conclusion the researchers conducted an analysis of the fossil record of terrestrial vertebrates from the Jurassic and Triassic periods which were separated by a massive extinction event brought about by a prolonged period of catastrophic volcanic activity and climate change.

The findings indicated that being geographically widespread does not ensure that a species will survive an apocalyptic event and that the same could also apply to humans.

"Many groups of crocodile-like animals become extinct after the mass extinction event at the end of the Triassic era, despite being really diverse and widespread beforehand," said Dr Alex Dunhill.

"In contrast, the dinosaurs which were comparatively rare and not as widespread pass through the extinction event and go on to dominate terrestrial ecosystems for the next 150 million years."

A very similar turn of events can be found at the end of the Cretaceous when an asteroid impact wiped out the dinosaurs and enabled small mammals to take hold and dominate.

"These results shed light on the likely outcome of the current biodiversity crisis caused by human activity," said Dunhill. "It appears a human-driven sixth mass extinction will affect all organisms, not just currently endangered and geographically restricted species."

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/humans-not-spared-sixth-mass-141315515.html#P82SziJ
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Maas
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2015, 12:21:33 am »

Humans will not be spared in sixth mass extinction
International Business TimesBy Hannah Osborne | International Business Times – Thu, Aug 13, 2015

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Maas
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« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2015, 12:22:09 am »

Just because humans populate almost the entire globe does not mean we will be exempt from dying out in the next mass extinction event to hit Earth. Publishing a study in the journal Nature Communications, scientists say widespread species are just as likely to be wiped out in global mass extinctions as rare ones.

Under normal circumstances, species that are widespread are less likely to become extinct than those that occupy smaller geographical areas, with their prevalence providing them with a natural insurance against changes to the environment. However, when it comes to mass extinctions, the same insurance does not apply, with these populous species just as at risk as scarce ones.

The team from the University of Leeds looked at the fossil record of terrestrial vertebrates from the Triassic and Jurassic periods (252 to 145 million years ago). Around 200 million years ago there was a mass extinction event thought to have been triggered by massive volcanic eruptions and climate change. It killed off up to 80% of the species known to have been living on Earth at the time and eventually gave rise to the dinosaurs.

Study leaders Alex Dunhill and Matthew Wills mapped out the geographical distribution of organisms to see how they changed throughout the Triassic-Jurassic periods, which were then compared with biodiversity changes. This provided scientists the relationship between geographic range and extinction risk – the first time this has been done in the terrestrial fossil record.
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Maas
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« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2015, 12:22:49 am »

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Maas
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« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2015, 12:23:03 am »

During this mass extinction event, many groups of crocodile ancestors went extinct, allowing the dinosaurs to rise to dominance. Dunhill said: "The fact that the insurance against extinction given by a wide geographic distribution disappears at a known mass extinction event is an important result. Many groups of crocodile-like animals become extinct after the mass extinction event at the end of the Triassic era, despite being really diverse and widespread beforehand. In contrast, the dinosaurs which were comparatively rare and not as widespread pass through the extinction event and go on to dominate terrestrial ecosystems for the next 150 million years."

Over the course of history there have been five mass extinction events (that we know of). At present, many scientists believe we are entering a sixth mass extinction. Stanford scientist Paul Ehrlich recently published a study in Science Advances finding that the next mass extinction event is here "without any significant doubt" and under even conservative estimates. He found species are disappearing around 100 times faster than normal rates.

Willis said their latest research shows how mass extinction events do not follow regular rules of survival: "Although we tend to think of mass extinctions as entirely destructive events, they often shake up the status quo, and allow groups that were previously sidelined to become dominant. Something similar happened much later with the extinction of the dinosaurs making way for mammals and ultimately ourselves. However, our study shows that the 'rules' of survival at times of mass extinctions are very different from those at 'normal' times: nothing is ever really safe."

Dunhill added: "These results shed light on the likely outcome of the current biodiversity crisis caused by human activity. It appears a human-driven sixth mass extinction will affect all organisms, not just currently endangered and geographically restricted species."

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Maas
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« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2015, 12:23:18 am »

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/humans-not-spared-sixth-mass-141315515.html#WS15abm
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Unholy Beast
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« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2015, 12:27:37 am »

Maybe small pockets of people could survive potential cataclysmic events. Maybe not.
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Seer of Dark Things
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« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2015, 12:29:27 am »

"Abdu'l-Baha' describes vast 'Universal Cycles,' stretching over hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of years, at the end of which 'great events' take place as a result of which all traces of the previous cycle are obliterated..."
http://bahai-library.com/momen_encyclopedia_ages_cycles
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Whitelocust
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« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2015, 12:32:37 am »

911 dispatch, FEMA, National Guard Search and Rescue, hospital emergency departments. etc. are all actively engaged in the "prepper" community. FEMA has been telling people to prepare for whatever emergency. http://www.ready.gov/ That website says to be prepared to "shelter in place" for at least 3 days. People in the business say 6 weeks is a more realistic time frame. You want to be able to shelter in place primarily to avoid the chaos in the streets.
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Behold, I am Death, Destroyer of Worlds
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« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2015, 12:34:59 am »

Mass extinction doesn't mean the end of all life, we'll survive it if we're the cause. If we're not the cause I'm still confident the human race will survive whatever happens, just maybe not civilization.
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Okane
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« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2015, 12:36:13 am »

We've survived it so far. If we take remedial action in time, we'll survive. I think we will, but the longer we wait, the rougher the ride will be.
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Hunt for Extraterrestial Lifeforms
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« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2015, 12:38:19 am »

A lot of us will survive. I lot will die. The people who work for FEMA/911 plan to be able to shelter in place for at least 6 weeks. That means food and water and anything you can't live without for 6 weeks. FEMA's webste http://www.ready.gov/ says prepare for 3 days, but people in the business are preparing for 6 weeks or longer. Shelter in place and stay out of the chaos in the streets. Doug, I think we need more than remedial action right now. It's time to prepare for the worst. (And don't forget the dog food.) I want to think ... business as usual...
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DieChecker
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« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2015, 12:40:48 am »

Preparing for some short-term emergency will help one survive that emergency. Three days - how long did Katrina last? Some of those wildfires in the west that are burning right now will still be burning next spring - they'll burn under the snow. As of right now, not all of them are even manned. And fire-fighting funds will be gone in six weeks. The USFS will promise to pay the fire-fighters, then hope Congress appropriates the money. And if Congress doesn't appropriate the money, there won't be a Fire Service next year. So six weeks seems a reasonable number.
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Nuclear Commander
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« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2015, 12:42:42 am »

I have to wonder whether those active military guys that are being sent to western fires are going to be worth much. The hot shot crews they are being paired with are some of the most fit people you will ever meet. Because these crews travel constantly, they are not familiar with the areas they are working in. So they are assigned a liasson officer who provides information on escape routes, gets them fed and sees that they are otherwise supplied. The liasson officer lives with the crew as long as they are on the fire. Liasson officers are local fire fighters and are in good shape.
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Vanlyssel
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« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2015, 12:44:52 am »

In any event, buckle up it looks like its going to be a bumpy ride.
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