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2019-05-06. Biodiversity Report Paints a Bleak Picture.

posted May 12, 2019, 7:43 AM by Alan Gould
By Randy Showstack, Eos/AGU [https://eos.org/articles/biodiversity-report-paints-a-bleak-picture] For GSS Losing Biodiversity chapter 1, Ecosystem Change chapter 6 and Population Growth chapter 5. Excerpt: The natural world is under siege and declining at a dizzying and dismal rate, according to a sobering new report on biodiversity. The rate of global change in nature during the past half century “is unprecedented in human history,” according to a landmark global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services released today, 6 May. The global rate of species extinction “is already at least tens to hundreds of times higher than the average rate over the past 10 million years and is accelerating,” according to the report [https://www.ipbes.net/news/ipbes-global-assessment-summary-policymakers-pdf] by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The report states that about 1 million species are threatened with extinction, many within decades. ...“Goals for conserving and sustainably using nature and achieving sustainability cannot be met by current trajectories, and goals for 2030 and beyond may only be achieved through transformative changes across economic, social, political and technological factors,” the report states. ...The report, compiled by 145 expert authors who reviewed about 15,000 scientific and government sources and also drew on indigenous and local knowledge, is the most comprehensive document ever prepared about biodiversity. ...75% of the terrestrial environment and 40% of marine environments have been severely altered by human actions, about 55% of the ocean area is covered by industrial fishing, the growth of urban areas has more than doubled since 1992, and the amount of renewable and nonrenewable resources that are extracted globally each year has doubled since 1980. According to the report, the direct drivers of change in nature that have the largest global impact are, in order, changes in land and sea use, exploitation of organisms, climate change, pollution, and the invasion of alien species....  See also New York Times article Humans Are Speeding Extinction and Altering the Natural World at an ‘Unprecedented’ Pace [https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/06/climate/biodiversity-extinction-united-nations.html] and Science article Landmark analysis documents the alarming global decline of nature [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/05/landmark-analysis-documents-alarming-global-decline-nature]