Skip to comments.Species Extinction Rates Grossly Overestimated
Posted on 05/18/2011 8:17:47 PM PDT by 1010RD
A group of researchers agrees that Earth is facing a mass extinction event, but they are daring to overturn dogma on how fast species are disappearing. The researchers say they have discovered why and they recommend a different way to calculate the rates.
We don't even know how many species actually exist, though it is known that biodiversity is declining drastically. Previously estimated extinction rates some experts thought half the world's plant and animal species would be gone by 2000 haven't matched what's actually been observed. Other researchers have claimed the difference originates from the lag time between when a species' habitat becomes unsustainable and when the species begins to disappear.
The researchers believe that the overestimation is actually due to how we derive these estimates in the first place.
To prove a species is extinct, however, one has to find the last remaining example of that animal. And Hubbell and He explain that the amount of habitat needed to find the last individual is much larger than the amount needed to find the first.
In fact, the researchers mathematically prove in their paper that the habitat loss required for extinction is always larger, usually much larger up to 160 percent than the area required for discovery of a species.
Another method, called the endemics-area relationship, is more logical, the researchers say.
They tested the two methods using computer models and with known species, including rain-forest plants and birds in North America, and saw that the endemics-area model is a better fit to the actual data.
The researchers warn, though, that this shouldn't lead to complacency about habitat loss. Many species are still going extinct because humans are destroying and disrupting their habitats.
(Excerpt) Read more at livescience.com ...
Ironically, these are the same people who buy into Darwin and survival of the fittest.
It’s got that goofy tuft of hair on top of it’s head between the ears.
Let me guess... Massive new taxes and regulations covering every facet of the American peoples' lives will stop this "mass extinction event."
Has Al Gore dreamed up a new gig?
Uh.... Of all the life forms that have lived on the Earth, 99% of them have gone extinct.
When something goes, something else takes it’s place. New life is constantly emerging and adapting.
Some species may go extinct in a localized area. It’s hard to snuff out all of a species. But it will happen, and there is not much we can do about it.
Some species will vanish. No matter how much we try to prevent it. Might even be us.
Just before Eve got Adam to take a bite of the apple.
The whole 'survival of the fittest' phrase is so ambiguous, but widely used because it is easy for public consumption.
There is a survival of the fittest among species. So far we haven't gone extinct.
Then there is continuation of the genes and traits of the individuals of a species. Those that are most successful usually mate the most. Therefore traits that enable 'surviving' spread around. This causes an evolution in the physical characteristics of the offspring.
I have not mentioned evolution as it applies to how life went from prebiotic soup to present day humans, because I don't think that is what Darwin was addressing, and it's way too complicated to even get started on (at this late hour).
“When something goes, something else takes its place. New life is constantly emerging and adapting.”
Absolutely, those constantly emerging new life forms are making it, or not making it. In many cases the struggling new forms of life are documented, and when that life form expires, and disappears mankind is accused of the “extinction” of that life form when in actuality it simply couldn’t adapt in its existing form in the Earth’s climate/atmosphere regardless.
These “experiments of Nature” if you will occur 24/7/365 days around the World. They occur in the vacant lots next door. The jungles in Costa Rica. The deserts of the ME, the Oceans of the World. All over the Earth.
It’s a constant that somewhere right this second various offshoots of existing life are teaming with other variations of existing life creating new life forms, but if those life forms aren’t capable of adapting to the chemistry that is the Earths atmosphere they will expire.
Been going on since the beginning of this Earth. “The strong survive.” “Survival of the fittest.” That sort of thing.