The Gradual Decline of the Dinosaurs – Earth Day Thoughts
Today, the 46th commemoration of Earth Day, some 171 nations signed and ratified the historic Paris Agreement on climate change. In essence, the Agreement sets out that the global increase in temperature will be limited to no more than around two degrees Celsius as countries work together to cut greenhouse gas emissions, widely believed to be responsible for a rapidly warming Earth. Some fifteen nations had already signed this international accord prior to today, mainly small island states in the Pacific, but with the addition of the 171 signatories, this is a record number for a new treaty.
Decline of the Dinosaurs
Commenting on the importance of this Agreement, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated:
“Paris will shape the lives of all future generations in a profound way – it is their future that is at stake.”
The Two Degree Limit
The Paris Agreement sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C. Although, the implementation of the agreement will not be easy and several countries, including a number from Africa and central Asia have not signed, if the Earth continues to warm, then our own species could well be threatened.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon explained that as the planet experienced record highs in average annual temperatures:
“We are in a race against time. I urge all countries to join the agreement at the national level. Today we are signing a new covenant for the future.”
Yesterday, Everything Dinosaur reported on some new research conducted by scientists at Reading and Bristol Universities that looked at the extinction of the dinosaurs. A statistical study (Bayesian analysis), revealed that the Dinosauria had been in gradual decline for some fifty million years before finally becoming extinct. To read an article on this research: Fifty Million Year Decline of the Dinosauria.
Extinction of the Dinosaurs Will the Human Race Go the Same Way Due to Global Climate Change?
Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur
Everything Dinosaur Comments
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:
“There is already quite a strong body of evidence indicating that our planet is experiencing a mass extinction event. Many key species are endangered or threatened and as we are top of the food chain it is in all our interests to try to limit greenhouse gas emissions so that a global climate catastrophe can be avoided.”
Visit Everything Dinosaur’s award-winning website: Everything Dinosaur.
One of the authors of the research into the decline of the dinosaurs, that we reported upon yesterday, Dr Sakamoto, pointed out that the research into the demise of the Dinosauria might have a significance with regards to what we are experiencing today.
“Our study strongly indicates that if a group of animals is experiencing a fast pace of extinction more so than they can replace, then they are prone to annihilation once a major catastrophe occurs. This has huge implications for our current and future biodiversity, given the unprecedented speed at which species are going extinct owing to the ongoing human-caused climate change.”
If the UN General-Secretary calls this a “race against time”, then this is one race that the human race cannot afford to lose.