Unanimous agreement among scientists: Earth to suffer major loss in species
"Understanding the degree of consensus within the scientific community will help policy makers to interpret scientific advice, improving the likelihood of successful of conservation initiatives," said study author Murray Rudd with the University of York. "The extremely high level of consensus demonstrated by these results underlines the urgency of preventing further damage to the natural world."
In addition, nearly 80 percent of respondents agreed that it was 'virtually certain' that human activities were accelerating species loss. Deforestation, habitat loss, climate change, pollution, overexploitation for food or medicine, disease, and invasive species are among a few of the big drivers of biodiversity decline worldwide.
According to the survey, tropical coral reefs are the most likely to see extinctions. Eighty-eight percent of respondents familiar with coral reefs—the most biodiverse marine ecosystems on Earth—predicted that a serious loss was 'very likely' or 'virtually certain'. While coral reefs are suffering from pollution and overfishing, perhaps the most drastic impact is the ongoing rise of greenhouse gas emissions. Ocean acidification from rising carbon levels hurts a coral reef's ability to calcify, imperiling the ecosystem. In addition, rising sea temperatures and sea levels due to climate can cause coral bleaching, which has devastated whole reef systems. more