by Carl Kruse
This post is taken from information provided by the SETI Institute on their upcoming online chat “Is a Sixth Mass Extinction the Future of Living Species on Earth?” The chat will stream Wednesday, September 22, 2021 at 7:00 PM Pacific time live from the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. The Carl Kruse Nonprofits Blog encourages all to join for what promises to be a great discussion.
Human society and the global ecosystem are at a critical point, facing climate and biodiversity crises. According to a recent study, a sixth mass extinction of wildlife on Earth is accelerating. More than 500 species of land animals are on the brink of extinction and are likely to be lost within 20 years, a number equivalent to the same lost over the entire last century.
Earth has been through severe extinction crises in the past. There have been five mass extinction events during the last 450 million years, each eliminating 70-95% of all plants, animals and microorganisms existing at the time. Causes of these events included massive volcanic eruptions, depletion of ocean oxygen or collision with an asteroid. Following each event, it took millions of years to regain the numbers of species comparable to those before the extinction event.
What can our understanding of ecology, evolution and history teach us about surviving the current situation? The SETI Institute has invited two experts from the California Academy of Sciences to discuss this topic. Scott Sampson, executive director and a dinosaur paleontologist, and Peter Roopnarine, the Curator of Geology, whose research focuses on understanding the evolution of ecological systems.
Franck Marchis, a SETI Institute planetary astronomer, will moderate the discussion about what we know about past and potential future mass extinctions, what is at stake for the fate of all living species on our planet and what we can do to preserve Earth’s biodiversity.
SETI Talks are presented at no cost. If you are interested in sponsoring a future SETI Talks, please email the SETI Instutue at firstname.lastname@example.org .
This SETI Talk is online, so please make sure to register to access this event. Registration is available here.
Carl Kruse Nonprofits Blog Homepage is at https://carlkruse.org
Contact: carl AT carlkruse DOT com
The blog’s last article was on Jocelyn Bell Burnell’s discovery of pulsars.
Other blog posts focusing on SETI or the SETI Institute include Can We Define Life, Kepler Update and SETI, Amateur Alien Hunters, and Are We Alone?
Carl Kruse can also be found on TED at Carl Kruse TED profile.