Climate Change

A upcoming global extinction due to climate change?, Déjà vu


Global Extinction due to climate change

There is a book written by Elizabeth Korbert in 2014 titled the Sixth Extinction which postulates man-made climate change will result in the sixth time an extinction event will have occurred in the earth’s history. In contrast to our current situation where climate change is occurring due to man-made factors these other five occurred long before humans lived on the earth.

The previous five extinctions

In the earth’s history on five occasions where global events resulted in the extinction of over 75 % of the current species. The first extinction was at the end of the Ordovician period over 444 million years ago where 86% of species perished probably caused by a short, severe ice age which lowered sea levels.

Historians refer to the second extinction as the Late Devonian where 375 million years ago, 75% of species lost as result of newly evolved land plants that emerged which covered the planet.

The end of the Permian period marked the third extinction where over 251 million years ago, resulted in the eradication of 96% of earth’s species. Historians determined a perfect storm of natural catastrophes caused the extinction including a cataclysmic eruption which blasted CO2 into the atmosphere which caused global temperatures to surge while oceans acidified and stagnated.


The fourth extinction came at the End of the Triassic, 200 million years ago where 80% of species lost. Interestingly enough, no clear cause for this extinction has been determined. Lastly, the most recent extinction was 65 million years involves the belief held by most scientists that an asteroid stuck the earth over what is now the Yucatan Peninsula.

Deja Vu?

Examining the extinction at the end of the Permian period in more detail the natural disaster near Siberia blasted CO2 into the atmosphere. Methanogenic (methane producing) bacteria created by the eruption responded by belching out large quantities of the potent greenhouse gas. This resulted in global temperatures surging while oceans acidified and stagnated, belching poisonous hydrogen sulfide and strangling most of the life forms on the planet. Sound familiar?

And you still think extinction is not possible by our own doing

From history we have seen huge changes in climate causes large scale extinctions. Can there be any question what the results of our current activities will be when a history exists for these of occurrences? I wonder if that fact is enough to begin to finally take action.