Scientists have been warning for a long time that an increased number of animal and plant species are becoming extinct. Our way of life, and the lives of other animals, depend on a complex ecosystem and if the extinctions reached a point where critical parts of that ecosystem were
removed, it could produce a catastrophic collapse. Even a partial collapse would have considerable consequences. For example, the resultant difficulties in maintaining life could provoke tensions and outright conflicts between different groups that could be extremely costly. Given the challenges in predicting this outcome, the authors of the study do not provide any guess as to the odds of this taking place.