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Sun Feb 10, 2019, 09:33 PM

Plummeting insect numbers 'threaten collapse of nature'

Damian Carrington Environment editor
@dpcarrington
Sun 10 Feb 2019 13.00 EST

The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review.

More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5% a year, according to the best data available, suggesting they could vanish within a century.

The planet is at the start of a sixth mass extinction in its history, with huge losses already reported in larger animals that are easier to study. But insects are by far the most varied and abundant animals, outweighing humanity by 17 times. They are “essential” for the proper functioning of all ecosystems, the researchers say, as food for other creatures, pollinators and recyclers of nutrients.

Insect population collapses have recently been reported in Germany and Puerto Rico, but the review strongly indicates the crisis is global. The researchers set out their conclusions in unusually forceful terms for a peer-reviewed scientific paper: “The [insect] trends confirm that the sixth major extinction event is profoundly impacting [on] life forms on our planet.

More:
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/10/plummeting-insect-numbers-threaten-collapse-of-nature

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2019, 10:06 PM

1. Food chains and pollination continue to be destroyed.

The mass extinction continues.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2019, 10:28 PM

2. Sometimes I can't believe what passes for news when this something so catastrophic is happening.

This is worth so much more air and ink time than Eiizabeth Warren's DNA.

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Response to femmedem (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 10, 2019, 10:42 PM

3. And it can even be sensationalized and scandalized.

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Response to femmedem (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 10, 2019, 11:20 PM

4. If anything is newsworthy this should be this!!

Every news program and every political and presidential debate should include this issue with the facts, not opinions.

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Response to femmedem (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 10, 2019, 11:57 PM

6. That was my first thought. If this isn't LBN, what is.

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Response to JudyM (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 12:20 AM

7. The news event is the publication of the report, the first global scientific review.

I'd go for it. I am a frequent alerter of LBN postings, but I wouldn't on this because it's tied to a news event, and not just some pundit(s) blathering away about something.

Just like the release of the IPCC climate change report is LBN. Just like the BLS's monthly jobs report is LBN.

But somebody better do it within the next half hour, as the 12 hour window ends at 1:00 AM ET.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2019, 11:43 PM

5. So the insect mass has a half-life of about 27 years if it declines at a rate of 2.5%/year

Assuming exponential decay, where each year it declines by 2.5% of whatever is left. Actually 27.3778 years.
(1-0.025)^27.3778 = (0.975)^27.3778 = 0.5000006 . "^" is the exponent symbol, e.g. 2^3 = 8.

With linear decay, it's half gone in 20 years (2.5% * 20 = 50%).

The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5% a year, according to the best data available, suggesting they could vanish within a century.


They will be 92% gone in a century assuming exponential decay ( 0.975^100 = 7.95%, 100% - 7.95% = 92.05% )

At a linear rate, they will be all gone in 40 years.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 12:28 AM

8. cross post, linking back to here

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