Most biologists agree there have been five mass extinction events in history, with the most well-known occurring 66 million years ago, when the dinosaurs were wiped out by an asteroid. However, Dr Rolf Schmidt, from the Invertebrate Palaeontology Melbourne Museum in Australia believes we could be on the verge of a sixth. He warned during Amazon Prime’s “The Next Extinction Event” how climate change should not be the only thing on people’s minds.
He said earlier this year:“There is a solid link between carbon levels, especially carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, and climate.
“Now it’s not always the carbon dioxide that causes the climate change to start with, but it’s either the first thing – that changing carbon dioxide up or down – that is very closely associated with massive climate change.
“So sometimes carbon dioxide changes ahead of time, so things like massive volcanism can cause warming.
“In some cases like the Ordovician extinction, big mountain building, that weathering actually draws carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and that causes the carbon dioxide to plunge.
“This is what probably happened, causing an ice age.”
Dr Schmidt went on to explain how rapid changes in the climate can have an effect at every level of the food chain.
He added: “At other times, it can be other causes, like the Earth’s orbit can change its shape, it regularly does that in a predictable way, and then those changes from the Sun’s radiation causes a start in a shift towards warmer or colder
“But then that initiates sort of feedback with the carbon dioxide so the warmer it gets, often the carbon dioxide goes along and starts going up as well, which causes more warming, which causes more carbon dioxide.
“So carbon dioxide either initiates the warming or cooling or it exacerbates the changes, and the quicker it changes, the more rapidly the climate changes.Continue Reading