The Sixth Mass Extinction According to scientists, the world is in the middle of the sixth mass extinction. A report published last month found that one million animal and plant species are at risk of extinction, as human activity increasingly threatens the planet’s natural life support systems. This latest news on plant extinction is bad news for animals, as plants form the backbone of the world’s ecosystems. “Plants underpin all life on earth. They provide the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat, so plant extinction is bad news for all species,” Dr. Eimear Lughadha, who was part of the team that compiled the research, told the Guardian. The new database on plant extinctions comes from years of fieldwork reports sourced from various scientific journals and scientists hope it will act as a guide in helping to conserve future species, as it highlights what kind of plants are at danger of extinction. For example, species in the Mediterranean are more at risk because the region is more susceptible to global warming and will see summer rainfall decrease by up to 30% in some areas. In this study, scientists found that Hawaii had the most recorded extinctions, followed by the Cape provinces of South Africa and Madagascar. However, the authors point out that there may have been many extinctions in areas which were not studied or less thoroughly looked at. Among the plants lost forever, were two types of tree, the Chilean sandalwood, chopped into oblivion for its aromatic wood and the Saint Helena Olive, which was only found on the island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean.]]>

Edward Cowley