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Nature & Environment

Half of all species could disappear by 2100

By T.K. Randall
February 27, 2017 · Comment icon 5 comments

Things are looking grim for much of the world's wildlife. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 jballeis
Biologists have warned that up to a half of all species could be wiped out by the end of the century.
The dire statistic comes courtesy of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and is set to be a major point of discussion at the upcoming Biological Extinction conference.

The three-day event, which will be held at the Vatican, is set to be attended by some of the world's most prominent biologists and ecologists who are hoping to find ways to halt the decline.

One issue is that, while great efforts are being made to protect species such as elephants, rhinos and pandas, there are many species of both plants and animals that are being overlooked.

"All of our food comes directly or indirectly from higher plants, of which there are an estimated 425,000 species," the Biological Extinction statement reads.
"Tens of thousands of these have been cultivated for food at some time by some people, but at present, 103 of them produce about 90 per cent of our food worldwide, while three kinds of grain, maize, rice, and wheat, produce about 60 per cent of the total."

"We have detailed knowledge of perhaps only a fifth of the species of plants in the world, and a majority could be gone in nature by the end of the century we entered recently."

Another matter to be discussed at the conference is the impact our own population is having and how sustainable our civilization will be as the number of people worldwide continues to rise.

"If you value people, you want to have the maximum number you can support sustainably," said Professor Paul Erlich from Stamford University.

"You do not want almost 12 billion living unsustainably on Earth by the end of the century - with the result that civilisation will collapse and there are only a few hundred survivors."

Source: Independent | Comments (5)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by DieChecker 7 years ago
What's interesting is that in temperate areas, the bio-diversity is already not very high, and losses are unlikely. Previous articles I've read about this seem to indicate that most of the losses will be in the Tropics, where you can have tons of species in a relatively tiny area. A dozen species of ants, whereas in Oregon maybe only two. And those losses are due to industry and clearing for farming, not due to the warmth of the planet.  Still... Climate change, or direct human damage, I agree we should do something about it. Not sure what exactly, because we'd basically have to invade Brazil... [More]
Comment icon #2 Posted by Ashotep 7 years ago
Overpopulation is the biggest threat to wildlife including humans.  Why we shouldn't take immigrants or refugees from countries that can't or won't control their population.  If they are forced to live with it maybe they will start practicing birth control.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Mr.United_Nations 7 years ago
Unfortunatly is places like China and Brazil with growing population and impacting on forests needing more farmland. Its got nothing to do with immigrants
Comment icon #4 Posted by paperdyer 7 years ago
Wasn't there an article posted here awhile back saying that new species were being discovered in these same areas.  Also the boa species that was thought to be extinct?
Comment icon #5 Posted by Nzo 7 years ago
Wasn't there a report just months ago saying we already killed half of the species so far? Maybe by 2100 if we don't irradiate ourselves to death, or engineer a SUPER virus using CRISPR in our basement labs, we might see a planet bereft of all species except those that man deems useful.   If anyone asks why are we here? I suggest replying with a 'We are here to destroy every other species and ultimately the planet and ourselves, as history is showing us"


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