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Viewings: 5007Most species will die out before it is detected, believed by some researchers. But one group of scientists says that the situation is not hopeless. If experts will gather and focus, they have time.
In an article published by the journal Science, mark Costello from the University of Auckland (New Zealand) and his colleagues offer us three good news. First, taxonomy (industry, dealing with the classification and designation of species) is thriving. Secondly, the number of undiscovered species is not as great as some people think, and the rate of extinction is not so terrible, according to environmentalists. Third, given the above, almost all species on the planet can be found, and call in the next 50 years.
It is believed that taxonomy is in crisis. In 2008, the House of lords of great Britain published a report in which he bemoaned the old science as having reached "points of crisis". In North America and Europe, they say, the demand of taxonomists has decreased, and focuses universities are paying now the training of scientists biomedical and biomolecular specialties. "A couple of decades ago it was said that taxonomists are dying out faster, but nobody so far has not set out to examine the numbers," - said Mr Costello.
In fact, as was found by the authors, over the last ten years by the discovery of new species was engaged three times more scientists than in previous years. Many of them are working at home, you have probably experienced lovers, for which taxonomy is a hobby, not a profession.
Annually published about 16 thousand articles that adds to the tree of life new species. Most dedicated to the arthropods - group, which dominates in global biodiversity. In abundance open shellfish.
Especially active work is underway in South America and Asia, where a significant part of the undiscovered reserves of biodiversity. Perhaps, the European pessimists are simply not aware of what is happening in other countries?
The researchers then decided to find out how much all the same species living on the planet, not counting bacteria. We know about 1.5 million of them. As for the unknown, estimates range from two to one hundred million. Mr. Costello and his colleagues studied the new works that combine empirical data extrapolation and statistical models relating to land, sea, arthropods and plants. Conclusion: you will open two to eight million species.
Finally, the authors raised the issue of extinction rate. According to estimates, every decade is going to disappear from one hundred up to five percent of the species. If true worse prognosis, half of the planet should be freed after 150 years. The last, more realistic estimates indicate losses in the region of 1% per decade, and in this case the rate of search and descriptions of species will be significantly ahead of extinction. But climate change, destruction of habitats and wildlife trade can accelerate the extinction of species, and the discovery of new products will slow down when unopened will be very little.
Taking all this into account, Mr. Costello and his colleagues hope that the international community will coordinate disparate efforts on the description of new species. If you select on taxonomic objectives from $500 million to $1 billion a year, then the rate will grow tenfold, and then the work will be completed by 2060.
But why are they so worried about it? The fact that the species to the environment is as elements in chemistry and particle physics. Open and call appearance is the first thing you should do before starting to study the natural environment, that is, our own world.
Prepared according to the New York Times.
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