Earth is likely going to take a long, long way to recover from the sixth mass extinction that will be forced upon its shoulders by humans. It would take 10 million years for the planet to “reboot,” have warned the researchers behind a new study issued in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution. The good news is that species of animals and plants that have disappeared might make a comeback sometime in the future, in a form or another.
Andrew Fraass, a paleobiologist and the co-author of the new study, said in a press release that the research suggests that it would be legitimate to conclude that it will take that long for the Earth to recover from the annihilation that humans are creating through climate change and other doings.
The Earth’s propensity for reviving and reproducing is a good thing as many species like the Alagoas Foliage-gleaner - which was last spotted in 2011 – are on the critically endangered creatures list.
The Earth would recover from a human-made sixth mass extinction in about 10 million years
When the six-mile-wide asteroid blasted into the planet caused the havoc that ultimately and supposedly wiped out the dinosaurs and most plant life from the face of the Earth, things might have looked barren to whoever was inventorying 65 million years ago. The planktic foraminifera recovery rate – single-celled organisms that are to be found in the depths of the ocean – gave the paleobiologists from the University of Bristol and the University of Texas a hint they needed to advance with the study. During the whole of Earth’s history, those organisms were constant and crucial in completing the fossil record.
As consistent as they were, planktic foraminifera’s total declined from dozens of species to just a few when the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event took place, only to return to their initial numbers 10 million years ago, not before engraving the significant date on the calendar. The researchers say that the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction that last took place is a right comparison event for the Earth’s sixth mass extinction that the scientists say might come.
Andrew Fraass said to Fast Company that the space-borne calamities and human-made devastations are likely to happen pretty quickly on the large scale of things and they infect the same levels of destruction on the biosphere as well. For humans, 10 million years tend to seem longer but from the geological point of view, the amount of time is like a fraction of a second.
Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca