July 2, 2015 — A paper published last week in the journal Science Advances claims the sixth major mass extinction is already underway — and this time humans are to blame.
“We can confidently conclude that modern extinction rates are exceptionally high, that they are increasing, and that they suggest a mass extinction under way — the sixth of its kind in Earth’s 4.5 billion years of history,” a team of biologists from Mexico and the U.S. write in the paper.
And the rate of species loss is staggering. In the past 100 years, the world has lost the same number of species that typically would go extinct over 800 to 10,000 years.
The researchers point to “habitat loss, overexploitation for economic gain, and climate change” as three of the biggest drivers of the current mass extinction.
Against this backdrop, the filmmakers behind the Academy Award-winning “The Cove” will be releasing a new movie this fall titled “Racing Extinction.” The documentary takes viewers around the world to witness species loss first hand and explore possible solutions for saving countless plants and animals before it’s too late.