Biodiversity is, put simply, the diversity of life. Or, according to the dictionary, diversity among plant and animal species in an environment. By some estimates, there are close to ten million species in existence, of which we only know of a little over a million. While this number may not seem too low, all things considered, keep in mind that the proportion of known to unknown is not consistent; that ratio can be far lower, depending on what ecosystem and what part of the world you’re discussing.
For instance, In the Amazon the unknown species far outweigh the known. Stories have been told of insect surveys in the rainforest that always return new organisms. Recent research seems to indicate that previous episodes of climate change played a role in creating this diversity, though deforestation and a changing climate may play a role in eliminating some of this incredible diversity.