The upcoming sixth mass extinction on Earth will not be as catastrophic as the previous five, climate scientists at Tohoku University in Japan have said.
The situation will remain relatively stable for another few hundred years, according to Biogeosciences.
It is known that over the past 540 million years there have been several mass extinctions, when most species disappeared in a short (by geological standards) period of time. As a rule, such events were preceded by global climate change.
The authors of the study found that the more the average temperature on the planet changed, the more catastrophic the extinction turned out to be. So, many species disappeared after a global cooling of 7 degrees Celsius. As for warming, scientists have determined that irreversible effects begin after the average temperature rises by 9 degrees.
Previous studies have shown that the “point of no return” will be passed with a warming of 5.2 degrees. The forecast of Japanese scientists is more optimistic.
“Global warming of 9 C will not occur in the Anthropocene until at least 2500 under the worst-case scenario,” the authors noted.
Scientists explained that certain changes associated with warming are already taking place. But the consequences of rising temperatures, they say, will not be as devastating as previously thought.