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World's oceans move into 'extinction phase'

Posted on Thursday, 23 June, 2011 | Comment icon 112 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

Image credit: Toby Hudson

Scientists warn that human activities may have pushed our oceans in to a new "extinction phase".

Marine experts have published a report outlining the decline in the condition of the world's oceans. Eco systems such as coral reefs are in danger of disappearing, as are fish stocks; an increase in carbon dioxide elevating ocean temperatures is one factor being blamed for these changes.

"A preliminary report from an international panel of marine experts said that the condition of the world's seas was worsening more quickly than had been predicted."

  View: Full article |  Source: Telegraph

  Discuss: View comments (112)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #103 Posted by Trakyan on 18 August, 2011, 5:59
didnt need no experts to tell me the worlds eco system is falling apart i mean think about the over a hundred species going extinct in a rainforest each day
Comment icon #104 Posted by Little Fish on 18 August, 2011, 10:33
how do you know this? seems to be a wild claim.
Comment icon #105 Posted by Doug1o29 on 18 August, 2011, 15:34
The background extinction rate, based on fossil evidence is between 10 and 100 species per year. But this is only for species that leave fossil records. The true background rate, is undoubtedly much higher. The current extinction rate is about 27,000 species per year. That's about 74 species per day. So, you're right: 100 species per day is exaggerated, but is that enough to call it a "wild claim?" Most of the 27,000 species are tropical insects, particularly in the Amazon Basin. Habitat loss seems to be the major cause. Marine ecosystems are less well-known, so losses ther... [More]
Comment icon #106 Posted by Little Fish on 19 August, 2011, 11:32
how do you know this? think about how you would even measure this. it would be a huge undertaking to take even one reliable measurement, let alone continous measurements. given the standard of what gets published these days and the huge rise in retractions of scientific papers, I'd take that figure with a pinch of salt.
Comment icon #107 Posted by Br Cornelius on 19 August, 2011, 12:23
Doug explained this. It is an estimate based on the relative proportions of different phyla of species. You are correct in saying that it would be nearly impossible to directly correctly count - but if we have direct observations of the higher phyla we can make a very educated guess based on relative proportions of phyla. Since over 2/3 of all higher species are insects, we can reasonably estimate the loss of those insect species by direct observation of the loss of mammals and birds. These estimates are bolstered by direct measurements of habitat loss (tropical rain forest mainly) and the k... [More]
Comment icon #108 Posted by Doug1o29 on 19 August, 2011, 18:42
For beetles: Pick 100 overstory trees in the Amazon rain forest. Place cone-shaped collectors in a grid pattern on the ground. Fog the trees with insecticide. Collect the cones and see what beetles/insects you have collected. Wait a few years, then repeat the process. Wait a few more years, then do it again. Then wait a few more years and do it again. Now you have enough data to model some population dynamics of species that show declining numbers. Do any of them fit a decay curve? Monitor those species using pheromone traps in likely spots. If they come up negative, repeat over larger area,... [More]
Comment icon #109 Posted by Little Fish on 19 August, 2011, 21:42
Species–area relationships always overestimate extinction rates from habitat loss Extinction from habitat loss is the signature conservation problem of the twenty-first century. Despite its importance, estimating extinction rates is still highly uncertain because no proven direct methods or reliable data exist for verifying extinctions... from wikipedia:
Comment icon #110 Posted by dalia on 19 August, 2011, 21:55
If this is similar to every other mass extinction in history, then I would think humans are not responsible.
Comment icon #111 Posted by Spid3rCyd3 on 20 August, 2011, 6:02
Red Tide, fun times ahead.

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