Earth’s sixth mass extinction may become a reality by year 2100 due to increasing carbon pressure on oceans, according to a study done the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Thresholds of catastrophe in the Earth system, was conducted by Daniel H. Rothman, professor of geophysics at MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences.
Rothman used a mathematical formula based on the rate and magnitude of change in the carbon cycle. The study identified a total of 31 events in the last 542 million years in which a significant change occurred in Earth’s carbon cycle. It said that in the past 540 million years, the Earth has seen five mass extinction events.
In the carbon cycle that, if exceeded, would lead to an unstable environment, and ultimately, mass extinction. That amount, according to the study, is about 310 gigatons, which is roughly equivalent to the amount of carbon that human activities would have added to the world’s oceans by the year 2100.