We are staring mass extinction in the face, according to a new study published in Science.
Researchers Justin L. Penn and Curtis Deutsch conducted an inquiry into our latest climate change data and the future of our oceans. Unfortunately, the findings were beyond frightening for the team.
“Under business-as-usual global temperature increases, marine systems are likely to experience mass extinctions on par with past great extinctions based on ecophysiological limits alone,” the study found.
Warming water, species loss, and oxygen depletion have been noted as critical concerns stemming from the growth of greenhouse gas emissions.
Right now, polar species remain at the highest risk. After comes the local biological ecosystems, which are declining in tropical regions as species have been forced to migrate away from the equator.
Two hundred and fifty-two million years ago, Earth experienced the “Great Dying”– its largest mass extinction ever. In fact, over ninety percent of ocean life and seventy percent of land life disappeared from the face of the planet.
If greenhouse gas emissions continue to skyrocket, the researchers believe Earth may once again face similar extinction levels by 2300.
“The projected impact of accelerating climate change on marine biota is profound, driving extinction risk higher and marine biological richness lower than has been seen in Earth’s history for the past tens of millions of years,” the study said.
Devastated by the results of their study, the research team has also called for “rapid action.” They believe it is not too late to avoid a major extinction event.