The Guardian has just published an article entitled, “The Terrifying Phenomenon that is Pushing Species towards Extinction,” by freelance science journalist David Derbyshire and about how climate change is contributing to the rise in mass mortality events (MMEs). A study by the National Academy of the Sciences found 727 such events involving more than 2400 animal populations since 1940. They have occurred around the world, afflicting antelope-like saiga in Kazakhstan, flying foxes (aka fruit bats) in Australia, as well as sardines, anchovies, and starfish along the Atlantic coast. Disease triggered by climate change (heat, cold, humidity, oxygen stress, starvation) causes about 1/4 of the die-offs, climate change alone another 1/4, and human-caused conditions like pollution about 1/5. The frequency and the severity of MMEs seems to be increasing year by year. Scientists expect additional species to be impacted, including reindeer and elk. They are on the lookout because MMEs can push any species toward extinction. Since climate is implicated in about half of all MMEs, the best preventive measure humans can take is to clamp down hard on the greenhouse gases that cause most climate change
The dust has settled at COP27, the 27th United Nations Climate Conference at Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt where a record 45,000 people registered to attend. The longest running summit of all the conferences, agreements made in the final moments has left us all with hope but also doubts.