Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction, Broad Study Says

Jan 20, 2015

Marco De Swart/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

By Carl Zimmer

A team of scientists, in a groundbreaking analysis of data from hundreds of sources, has concluded that humans are on the verge of causing unprecedented damage to the oceans and the animals living in them.

“We may be sitting on a precipice of a major extinction event,” said Douglas J. McCauley, an ecologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an author of the new research, which was published on Thursday in the journal Science.

But there is still time to avert catastrophe, Dr. McCauley and his colleagues also found. Compared with the continents, the oceans are mostly intact, still wild enough to bounce back to ecological health.

“We’re lucky in many ways,” said Malin L. Pinsky, a marine biologist at Rutgers University and another author of the new report. “The impacts are accelerating, but they’re not so bad we can’t reverse them.”


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One comment on “Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction, Broad Study Says”

  • First reaction to this post:
    Did they also discover that, by turning the tap with the red dot, the water comes out hot?

    Second reaction to this post:
    I don’t really like studies that claim a catastrophe is imminent but then the author saying “yeah but we’re still in time”. And I also dislike articles which are not free to be consulted -although I understand that scientific magazines need to survive… I think it leaves the question too open for ridicule from people “on the wrong side”.
    But it could be a journalist’s problem. I can’t know for sure until I get access to the paper.



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