New study finds world is on the brink of sixth great extinction

May 29, 2014 8:00 PM

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WASHINGTON — Species of plants and animals are becoming extinct at least 1,000 times faster than they did before humans arrived on the scene, and the world is on the brink of a sixth great extinction, a new study says.

The study looks at past and present rates of extinction and finds a lower rate in the past than scientists had thought. Species are now disappearing from Earth about 10 times faster than biologists had believed, said the study’s lead author, biologist Stuart Pimm of Duke University.

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