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Humans ‘threaten one million species with extinction’

mountains and lake

On land, in the seas, in the sky, the devastating impact of humans on nature is laid bare in a compelling UN report. 

One million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction.

Nature everywhere is declining at a speed never previously seen and our need for ever more food and energy are the main drivers.

These trends can be halted, the study says, but it will take “transformative change” in every aspect of how humans interact with nature.

From the bees that pollinate our crops, to the forests that hold back flood waters, the report reveals how humans are ravaging the very ecosystems that support their societies.

Three years in the making, this global assessment of nature draws on 15,000 reference materials, and has been compiled by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). It runs to 1,800 pages. 

The brief, 40-page “summary for policymakers”, published today at a meeting in Paris, is perhaps the most powerful indictment of how humans have treated their only home.

It says that while the Earth has always suffered from the actions of humans through history, over the past 50 years, these scratches have become deep scars.

For further information……click on full article link. 

Credit: BBC (image: Getty Images)

Full article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-48169783

UK Parliament declares climate change emergency

climate change protestors

MPs have approved a motion to declare an environment and climate emergency.

This proposal, which demonstrates the will of the Commons on the issue but does not legally compel the government to act, was approved without a vote.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who tabled the motion, said it was “a huge step forward”. 

Environment Secretary Michael Gove acknowledged there was a climate “emergency” but did not back Labour’s demands to declare one.

The declaration of an emergency was one of the key demands put to the government by environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion, in a series of protests over recent weeks. 

Addressing climate protesters from the top of a fire engine in Parliament Square earlier, Mr Corbyn said: “This can set off a wave of action from parliaments and governments around the globe.

“We pledge to work as closely as possible with countries that are serious about ending the climate catastrophe and make clear to US President Donald Trump that he cannot ignore international agreements and action on the climate crisis.”

For further information……click on full article link. 

Credit: BBC (image: Reuters)

Full article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-48126677

Kids are going on strike to save the planet

placard

The grown-ups have failed miserably on climate change – so us kids are going on strike to save the planet.

This is what we owe to ourselves and the generation still to come. We simply can’t stand by and watch the world and our environment collapse around us.

For further information……click on full article link. 

Credit: The Independent.

Full article: http://indpendent.co.uk

Davos 19: Strong message from David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough has told Prince William that people have never been more “out of touch” with the natural world than they are today.

In an interview with the prince at the World Economic Forum, the naturalist warned: “We can wreck it with ease, we can wreck it without even noticing.”

Sir David said people must care, respect and revere the natural world.

Heeding his words, the prince said: “Work to save the planet is probably going to largely happen on our watch”.

Sir David, 92, said: “When I started 60 years ago in the mid-50s, to be truthful, I don’t think there was anybody who thought that there was a danger that we might annihilate part of the natural world.”

In his early career, he said, simply showing people a new animal on television would astound them. 

Even then, he added: “Television in Britain in the 50s was only seen by a few million people in southern England.”

To read more……click on full article link. 

Credit: BBC News. (Image: Getty Images)

Full article: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-46957085


Food webs essential for nature conservation efforts

lake

Lake ecosystems make annual environmental changes more predictable. Nature conservation should not focus on individual species but on whole food webs, because the protection of their functioning is important for the predictability of species, especially when global warming is increasing environmental variability.

The environment varies drastically from year to year. Yet the variation of species in natural populations is positively correlated so that consecutive years tend to be fairly similar. Traditional population models cannot explain this phenomenon. Researchers have for long been wondering what the explanation could be, but they have now discovered a mechanism that translates various environmental variations into positive correlations in natural populations. 

A new, more predictable food web model

A team of Finnish and US researchers used a food web model to simulate daily biomass development of plankton and fish species in Lake Constance. The model accounted for the prey-predator interactions and the age structure of fishes. The food web was subjected to environmental variation in terms of algal growth, that is, in the lake’s primary production. Such variation can be caused by annual changes in temperature, for example. 

“This model differed from earlier ones, as it depicted a whole food web dynamics with 30 different species or age categories and altogether 133 prey-predator interaction links,” says Associate Professor Anna Kuparinen from the Department of Biological and Environmental Science in the University of Jyväskylä, Finland.

Read more ……click on full article link.

Credit: EurekAlert!

Full article: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-11/uoj–fwe112818.php

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