'EXTINCTION CRISIS': Nature in worst shape in human history, UN report says


spaminator
+1
#1
'EXTINCTION CRISIS': Nature in worst shape in human history, UN report says
Associated Press
Published:
May 6, 2019
Updated:
May 6, 2019 2:17 PM EDT
In this March 20, 2018, file photo, giraffes and zebras congregate under the shade of a tree in the afternoon in Mikumi National Park, Tanzania. Ben Curtis / AP
People are putting nature in more trouble now than at any other time in human history, with extinction looming over 1 million species of plants and animals, scientists said Monday.
But it’s not too late to fix the problem, according to the United Nations’ first comprehensive report on biodiversity.
“We have reconfigured dramatically life on the planet,” report co-chairman Eduardo Brondizio of Indiana University said at a press conference.
Species loss is accelerating to a rate tens or hundreds of times faster than in the past, the report said. More than half a million species on land “have insufficient habitat for long-term survival” and are likely to go extinct, many within decades, unless their habitats are restored. The oceans are not any better off.
“Humanity unwittingly is attempting to throttle the living planet and humanity’s own future,” said George Mason University biologist Thomas Lovejoy, who has been called the godfather of biodiversity for his research. He was not part of the report.
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“The biological diversity of this planet has been really hammered, and this is really our last chance to address all of that,” Lovejoy said.
Conservation scientists convened in Paris to issue the report, which exceeded 1,000 pages. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) included more than 450 researchers who used 15,000 scientific and government reports. The report’s summary had to be approved by representatives of all 109 nations.
Some nations hit harder by the losses, like small island countries, wanted more in the report. Others, such as the United States, were cautious in the language they sought, but they agreed “we’re in trouble,” said Rebecca Shaw, chief scientist for the World Wildlife Fund, who observed the final negotiations.
“This is the strongest call we’ve seen for reversing the trends on the loss of nature,” Shaw said.
The findings are not just about saving plants and animals, but about preserving a world that’s becoming harder for humans to live in, said Robert Watson, a former top NASA and British scientist who headed the report.
“We are indeed threatening the potential food security, water security, human health and social fabric” of humanity, Watson told The Associated Press.
It’s also an economic and security issue as countries fight over scarcer resources. Watson said the poor in less developed countries bear the greatest burden.
The report’s 39-page summary highlighted five ways people are reducing biodiversity:
— Turning forests, grasslands and other areas into farms, cities and other developments. The habitat loss leaves plants and animals homeless. About three-quarters of Earth’s land, two-thirds of its oceans and 85% of crucial wetlands have been severely altered or lost, making it harder for species to survive, the report said.
— Overfishing the world’s oceans. A third of the world’s fish stocks are overfished.
— Permitting climate change from the burning of fossil fuels to make it too hot, wet or dry for some species to survive. Almost half of the world’s land mammals — not including bats — and nearly a quarter of the birds have already had their habitats hit hard by global warming.
— Polluting land and water. Every year, 300 to 400 million tons of heavy metals, solvents and toxic sludge are dumped into the world’s waters.
— Allowing invasive species to crowd out native plants and animals. The number of invasive alien species per country has risen 70% since 1970, with one species of bacteria threatening nearly 400 amphibian species.
“The key to remember is, it’s not a terminal diagnosis,” said report co-author Andrew Purvis of the Natural History Museum in London.
Fighting climate change and saving species are equally important, the report said, and working on both environmental problems should go hand in hand. Both problems exacerbate each other because a warmer world means fewer species, and a less biodiverse world means fewer trees and plants to remove heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the air, Lovejoy said.
The world’s coral reefs are a perfect example of where climate change and species loss intersect. If the world warms another 0.9 degrees (0.5 degrees Celsius), which other reports say is likely, coral reefs will probably dwindle by 70% to 90%, the report said. At 1.8 degrees (1 degree Celsius), the report said, 99% of the world’s coral will be in trouble.
“Business as usual is a disaster,” Watson said.
At least 680 species with backbones have already gone extinct since 1600. The report said 559 domesticated breeds of mammals used for food have disappeared. More than 40% of the world’s amphibian species, more than one-third of the marine mammals and nearly one-third of sharks and fish are threatened with extinction.
The report relies heavily on research by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, or IUCN, which is composed of biologists who maintain a list of threatened species.
The IUCN calculated in March that 27,159 species are threatened, endangered or extinct in the wild out of nearly 100,000 species biologists examined in depth. That includes 1,223 mammal species, 1,492 bird species and 2,341 fish species. Nearly half the threatened species are plants.
Scientists have only examined a small fraction of the estimated 8 million species on Earth.
The report comes up with 1 million species in trouble by extrapolating the IUCN’s 25% threatened rate to the rest of the world’s species and using a lower rate for the estimated 5.5 million species of insects, Watson said.
Outside scientists, such as Lovejoy and others, said that’s a reasonable assessment.
The report gives only a generic “within decades” time frame for species loss because it is dependent on many variables, including taking the problem seriously, which can reduce the severity of the projections, Watson said.
“We’re in the middle of the sixth great extinction crisis, but it’s happening in slow motion,” said Conservation International and University of California Santa Barbara ecologist Lee Hannah, who was not part of the report.
Five times in the past, Earth has undergone mass extinctions where much of life on Earth blinked out, like the one that killed the dinosaurs. Watson said the report was careful not to call what’s going on now as a sixth big die-off because current levels don’t come close to the 75% level in past mass extinctions.
The report goes beyond species. Of the 18 measured ways nature helps humans, the report said 14 are declining, with food and energy production noticeable exceptions. The report found downward trends in nature’s ability to provide clean air and water, good soil and other essentials.
Habitat loss is one of the biggest threats, and it’s happening worldwide, Watson said. The report projects 15.5 million miles (25 million kilometres) of new roads will be paved over nature between now and 2050, most in the developing world.
Many of the worst effects can be prevented by changing the way we grow food, produce energy, deal with climate change and dispose of waste, the report said. That involves concerted action by governments, companies and people.
Individuals can help with simple changes to the way they eat and use energy, said the co-chairman of the report, ecological scientist Josef Settele of the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research in Germany. That doesn’t mean becoming a vegetarian or vegan, but balancing meat, vegetables and fruit, and walking and biking more, Watson said.
“We can actually feed all the coming billions of people without destroying another inch of nature,” Lovejoy said. Much of that can be done by eliminating food waste and being more efficient, he said.
http://torontosun.com/technology/ext...un-report-says
 
petros
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#2
Good thing a a war is brewing. We can easily get the population down to 1 Billion.
 
MHz
#3
'We' being you and the rest of the psychopaths right?
 
Ron in Regina
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#4
How long ago is "Human History?" As long as humans have been keeping records? As old as the oldest surviving human records that we've found? As long as humans have been humans? I wonder how Nature was doing 12,000-14,000 years ago before this inter-glacial period that we're currently in?
 
Ron in Regina
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#5  Top Rated Post
What happened to much of North America,s great big Fauna? The mammoth‘s and Wooly Rinos and giant sloths And sabertooth tigers and the North American lion and so on and so forth??? Where are the camels and zebras that actually evolved in North America before emigrating As invasive species that are now iconic in Africa??? Why are there still rhinos and hippos and elephants in Africa but not in North America or South America???
 
petros
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#6
There used to be a high protein forage that sustained large grazers but climate change happened and the forage died out.
 
Cliffy
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14000 years ago the human population numbered in the millions. Today, we number over 7 billion. Our demand on resources since the industrial age, has exponentially grown to an unsustainable magnitude and is responsible for much of the extinctions. Trying to blame climate change, without taking into account the human causes is just sticking one's head in the sand (or up one's butt).
 
petros
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#8
It's sustainable. We are good for another 3 BIllion.
 
Cliffy
#9
You like the small of your own excrement, eh.
 
MHz
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post

14000 years ago the human population numbered in the millions. Today, we number over 7 billion. Our demand on resources since the industrial age, has exponentially grown to an unsustainable magnitude and is responsible for much of the extinctions. Trying to blame climate change, without taking into account the human causes is just sticking one's head in the sand (or up one's butt).


https://www.le.ac.uk/gl/ads/Siberian...roduction.html
The Siberian Traps are the remnants of widepread volcanic activity that occurred in northern Pangea, about 250 m.y. ago.



In 500 words or less how would you 'prevent said changes'?
 
petros
+1
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post

You like the small of your own excrement, eh.

Yeah, I don't shit bigger than my asshole allows.
 
Walter
#12
Bin hearing ‘bout the end of days all my life and yet life continues to get better for humanity and nature.
 
Ron in Regina
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#13
Quote: Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post

14000 years ago the human population numbered in the millions. Today, we number over 7 billion. Our demand on resources since the industrial age, has exponentially grown to an unsustainable magnitude and is responsible for much of the extinctions. Trying to blame climate change, without taking into account the human causes is just sticking one's head in the sand (or up one's butt).

So the increase in global population is why the majority of large North American Fauna disappeared about 12,000 years ago but in Africa there are still camels and elephants and rhinos ??? So climate change and population pressure didn’t happen on the content but did on this one ???
 
Cliffy
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#14
Quote: Originally Posted by Ron in Regina View Post

So the increase in global population is why the majority of large North American Fauna disappeared about 12,000 years ago but in Africa there are still camels and elephants and rhinos ??? So climate change and population pressure didn’t happen on the content but did on this one ???

No. The large fauna disappeared because of climate changes as the world went from being frozen to being warm so fast that they could not adapt. The population explosion and the industrial revolution and the consequent unsustainable extraction of resources are causing the present day extinction event. The Ice Age didn't go as far as Africa and that is why elephants, rhinos and camels are still there.
 
Ron in Regina
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#15
  1. OK, so the world went from being cold to being warm quickly & Africa was spared this mostly in the last bout of glaciation, and this has happened before? This freeze & thaw and freeze & thaw thing? If so, where are we now in this cycle and what lays in our future?

 
Curious Cdn
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post

No. The large fauna disappeared because of climate changes as the world went from being frozen to being warm so fast that they could not adapt. The population explosion and the industrial revolution and the consequent unsustainable extraction of resources are causing the present day extinction event. The Ice Age didn't go as far as Africa and that is why elephants, rhinos and camels are still there.

Well, yes and no. There is a fair bit of archaeological evidence that we almost hunted horses to extinction in Eurasia before we domesticated them. They were common game and likely easy and worthwhile to hunt. Lots of meat, there with no horns on top! We certainly hunted the Aurochs into oblivion as we morphed some of them into cattle. I have no trouble at all imagining that horses were hunted to extinction in the Americas as almost happened elsewhere. There are no horses left on this planet that do not contain the genetic markers of domesticates. Even the wild Eurasian ones are descended from an ancient domesticated breed. The North American Natives didn't domesticate horses until they were re-influenced by Europeans.
 
petros
#17
Horses in the Americas went extinct 12,000- 8,000 yrs ago and we're reintroduced by the Spanish.
 
Curious Cdn
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Horses in the Americas went extinct 12,000- 8,000 yrs ago and we're reintroduced by the Spanish.

Yup. Hunted to extinction, probably as they nearly were in Eurasia. The climate would have had little to it.
 
petros
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#19
Hunted or their diet changed like what happened to the other grazers.
 
Curious Cdn
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#20
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Hunted or their diet changed like what happened to the other grazers.

There is all sorts of archaeology of hunted, butchered horses all over Neolithic Europe. Why would the Americas be any different?
 
Cliffy
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#21
Quote: Originally Posted by Curious Cdn View Post

Well, yes and no. There is a fair bit of archaeological evidence that we almost hunted horses to extinction in Eurasia before we domesticated them. They were common game and likely easy and worthwhile to hunt. Lots of meat, there with no horns on top! We certainly hunted the Aurochs into oblivion as we morphed some of them into cattle. I have no trouble at all imagining that horses were hunted to extinction in the Americas as almost happened elsewhere. There are no horses left on this planet that do not contain the genetic markers of domesticates. Even the wild Eurasian ones are descended from an ancient domesticated breed. The North American Natives didn't domesticate horses until they were re-influenced by Europeans.

Horses are not considered part of the mega fauna. Mastodons, ground sloths, giant buffalo were not wiped out by humans.
 
Curious Cdn
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#22
Quote: Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post

Horses are not considered part of the mega fauna. Mastodons, ground sloths, giant buffalo were not wiped out by humans.

Crap. WE'RE glacial period megafauna!
 
Ron in Regina
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#23
Quote: Originally Posted by Curious Cdn View Post

There is all sorts of archaeology of hunted, butchered horses all over Neolithic Europe. Why would the Americas be any different?

Horses where hunted on both continents but went extinct in the new world but not in the old world. Interesting all by itself.
 
Ron in Regina
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#24
Quote: Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post

Horses are not considered part of the mega fauna. Mastodons, ground sloths, giant buffalo were not wiped out by humans.

I hear you. As a rule of thumb, with respect to extinction, it seems that mega fauna is loosely defined as animals over about a 100lbs. I hear that cited over and over when listening to lectures on the Younger Dryas Period. In that definition Cliffy, you & I would be considered mega fauna.
 
Curious Cdn
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#25
Quote: Originally Posted by Ron in Regina View Post

Horses where hunted on both continents but went extinct in the new world but not in the old world. Interesting all by itself.

The geneticists think that it was a close call in Eurasia as there are no horses alive today from anywhere that don't carry the genetic markers of of the very early domesticated horses they've examined. The horse as we know it is a man-my Ade animal. We et the wild ones long ago.
 
Cliffy
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We are not separate from nature, we are nature. What we do to nature, we do to ourselves.
 
DaSleeper
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#27
Fakebook....................................Cliffy 's answer to everything!
 
Curious Cdn
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#28

We are not separate from nature, we are nature.

...Except, of course, for DaSchlepper when he's trolling. He's unnatural.
 
Cliffy
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by Curious Cdn View Post


We are not separate from nature, we are nature.

...Except, of course, for DaSchlepper when he's trolling. He's unnatural.

He's a one trick pony, that is why I have him on ignore.
 
Cliffy
#30