A mass extinction event is on the horizon for Earth, and it could be caused by oceans rather than asteroids.

A top scientist has warned that due to the amount of carbon in the ocean, mass extinction could strike the Earth in "a century or two."

Professor of geophysics at MIT Daniel Rothman warned that the critical threshold for the element in the seas is around 300 gigatons in a century, but by 2100, it could be 500 gigatons.

According to SPUTNIK, if the threshold is crossed, chaos will ensue on the planet, and the human race will be wiped out entirely.

However, the scientist warned that if the world is currently experiencing a mass extinction event, we may not even be aware of it.

Because they don't happen overnight and usually take years to manifest, it's unlikely that anyone will notice until it's too late.

"What we're seeing today is very serious," the professor told The Times of Israel.

"However, I'm not sure how much is required to bring us to the tipping point that would result in a global ecosystem catastrophe."

"Mass extinctions are caused by a chain reaction of positive feedbacks that results in a global ecosystem collapse... I can't say we haven't, but I'm not sure when we will."

The massive amount of carbon currently being pumped into the atmosphere, according to Rothman, could cause unimaginable disruption.

"Every major event in the history of life has been accompanied by a major perturbation of the environment, and these things tend to coincide," he explained.

If the amount of carbon in the ocean continues to rise at the same rate, it may reach a point where it becomes too acidic for fish to survive. The element is so important that it has been linked to four of Earth's five mass extinction events.

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