How Is the Earth’s Biodiversity Changing?

The world’s human population has more than doubled since 1970, expanding from about 3.7 billion people to 7.6 billion people in 2018. However, during that same time period, the global populations of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, and reptiles all went the other way, declining by about 60 percent, according to a 2016 estimate by the World Wildlife Fund. The rising human population, the WWF said, has alarming consequences for the planet's biodiversity, linked to pollution, climate change, and land clearing for farms and cities, among other causes.

A world with less wildlife:

  • “Wildlife is disappearing within our lifetimes at an unprecedented rate,” said Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International. “We are entering a new era in Earth’s history.”
  • Human dominance on Earth has ushered in the Anthropocene epoch -- a term derived from "anthropos," which is Greek for “human,” and "-cene,” which indicates a recent geological period.
  • Scientists have found some solace in the 2015 Paris Agreement to address climate change -- designed to protect tropical forests, slow the spread of deserts, and reverse ocean acidification.
More Info: Reuters

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