Dodging Extinction: Power, Food, Money, and the Future of by Anthony D. Barnosky

By Anthony D. Barnosky

Paleobiologist Anthony D. Barnosky weaves jointly facts from the deep earlier and the current to alert us to the looming 6th Mass Extinction and to supply a realistic, hopeful plan for averting it. Writing from front strains of extinction study, Barnosky tells the overarching tale of geologic and evolutionary background and the way it informs the best way people inhabit, take advantage of, and influence Earth this present day. He offers compelling facts that except we reconsider how we generate the ability we use to run our worldwide surroundings, the place we get our nutrition, and the way we make our cash, we'll set off what stands out as the 6th nice extinction in the world, with dire consequences.

Optimistic that we will be able to switch this ominous forecast if we act now, Barnosky presents uncomplicated innovations to steer the planet clear of international disaster. oftentimes the required know-how and knowledge exist already and are being utilized to an important concerns round human-caused weather switch, feeding the world’s becoming inhabitants, and exploiting usual assets. Deeply knowledgeable but accessibly written, Dodging Extinction is little short of a guidebook for saving the planet.

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12 In terms of gigatons of carbon (GtC) in the air, those numbers equate to a rise from about 1,810 GtC to 5,325 GtC, or a total rise of about 3,515 GtC. 13 That’s a tremendous amount of carbon. Where did it come from? Unlike today, there were no people around to pump CO2 into the air. But there was something every bit as effective: volcanoes that erupted so much and so often that they make the volcanic eruptions humans have seen in historic times—like those of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines, Mount St.

A discovery that would go a long way toward explaining that is what generated all the controversy. 20 / It’s Not Too Late (Yet) That last huge extinction event took place at the end of the Cretaceous period. The Cretaceous is a segment of geological time that lasted from about 145 million to 66 million years ago and, like other geological periods, is clearly recognizable by particular groups of species found as fossils. In fact, the geological periods were originally defined when geologists of the 1700s and 1800s noticed that the lowest rocks they banged their hammers against contained a certain assemblage of fossil species, the next layer up a different assemblage, and so on, and that no matter where they were in western Europe, they saw the same progression of fossil assemblages as they climbed from the lowest to the highest layers in any given stack of rocks.

It seemed like most of the comparisons between present and past that had been made by scientists were like comparisons of apples and oranges—different kinds of species were compared, from different parts of the world and different ecological settings, and using different ways to express extinction rates and magnitudes. In hopes of figuring out whether or not we truly were seeing the Sixth Mass Extinction bearing down on us like that Cretaceous 30 / It’s Not Too Late (Yet) asteroid, in 2010 a group of us in the Integrative Biology Department at UC Berkeley began to compile the information we needed to make an apples-to-apples comparison.

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