Our blue planet is in the grips of the Sixth Mass Extinction: the best-case scenario projects that humans will add 300 gigatons of carbon to the oceans by 2100, while more than 500 gigatons will be added under the worst-case scenario, far exceeding the critical threshold, according to Daniel Rothman professor of geophysics and co-director of MIT’s Lorenz Center. By 2100, the carbon cycle will either be close to or well beyond Earth’s threshold for catastrophe.
“The predictions Daniel Rothman makes would have grave consequences for most of life on Earth,” Clark said in an email to dailygalaxy.com. “The rapid warming would cause major environmental changes that smaller, more fragile populations of species may not be able to keep up with adaptively. In addition to the loss of land area by rising ocean levels, marine ecosystems could also change, such as through the shifting or halting of major ocean currents. Current changes would have major impacts on food sources for whales and other marine predators. These major ecosystem changes would be a much larger concern than the loss of the PON1 gene.”
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