10 hours ago APOCALYPSE WARNING: Insect population must be saved or 'LIFE WILL DISAPPEAR'. A DECLINE in insect populations across the globe is a. APOCALYPSE WARNING: Insect population must be saved or 'LIFE WILL DISAPPEAR'. freshtag.me | 2/11/ | Staff. Pink_sakuragirl (Posted by) Level 3. APOCALYPSE WARNING: Insect population must be saved or 'LIFE WILL DISAPPEAR'. 50 minutes ago. APOCALYPSE WARNING: Insect population must be.
DISAPPEAR’ be ‘LIFE APOCALYPSE Insect population WARNING: saved or must WILL
Cultural pessimists saw the Y2K bug as comeuppance for enthralling our civilization to technology. Among religious thinkers, the numerological link to Christian millennialism was irresistible. The Reverend Jerry Falwell declared, "I believe that Y2K may be God's instrument to shake this nation, humble this nation, awaken this nation and from this nation start revival that spreads the face of the earth before the Rapture of the Church.
As a former assembly language programmer, I was skeptical of the doomsday scenarios, and fortuitously I was in New Zealand, the first country to welcome the new millennium, at the fateful moment. Sure enough, at 12 a. The Y2K reprogrammers, like the elephant-repellent salesman, took credit for averting disaster, but many countries and small businesses had taken their chances without any Y2K preparation, and they had no problems, either.
Although some software needed updating one program on my laptop displayed "Jan. The threat turned out to be barely more serious than the lettering on the sidewalk prophet's sandwich board. H ow should we think about catastrophic threats? Let's begin with the greatest existential question of all, the fate of our species. As with the more parochial question of our fate as individuals, we assuredly have to come to terms with our mortality.
Biologists joke that to a first approximation all species are extinct, since that was the fate of at least 99 per cent of the species that ever lived. A typical mammalian species lasts around a million years, and it's hard to insist that Homo sapiens will be an exception. Even if we had remained technologically humble hunter-gatherers, we would still be living in a geological shooting gallery.
A burst of gamma rays from a supernova or collapsed star could irradiate half the planet, brown the atmosphere and destroy the ozone layer, allowing ultraviolet light to irradiate the other half. Or the Earth's magnetic field could flip, exposing the planet to an interlude of lethal solar and cosmic radiation.
An asteroid could slam into the Earth, flattening thousands of square miles and kicking up debris that would black out the sun and drench us with corrosive rain. Supervolcanoes or massive lava flows could choke us with ash, CO2 and sulfuric acid. A black hole could wander into the solar system and pull the Earth out of its orbit or suck it into oblivion.
Even if the species manages to survive for a billion more years, the Earth and solar system will not: Technology, then, is not the reason that our species must some day face the Grim Reaper.
Indeed, technology is our best hope for cheating death, at least for a while. As long as we are entertaining hypothetical disasters far in the future, we must also ponder hypothetical advances that would allow us to survive them, such as growing food under lights powered with nuclear fusion, or synthesizing it in industrial plants such as biofuel.
Even technologies of the not-so-distant future could save our skin. It's technically feasible to track the trajectories of asteroids and other "extinction-class near-Earth objects," spot the ones that are on a collision course with the Earth and nudge them off course before they send us the way of the dinosaurs. NASA has also figured out a way to pump water at high pressure into a supervolcano and extract the heat for geothermal energy, cooling the magma enough that it would never blow its top.
For this reason, the techno-apocalyptic claim that ours is the first civilization that can destroy itself is misconceived. As Ozymandias reminded the traveller in Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem, most of the civilizations that have ever existed have been destroyed. Conventional history blames the destruction on external events such as plagues, conquests, earthquakes or weather. But the physicist David Deutsch points out those civilizations could have thwarted the fatal blows had they had better agricultural, medical or military technology: A judicious look at threats to global well-being is not a call to complacency but the opposite.
Some threats strike me as the 21st-century version of the Y2K bug. This includes the possibility that we will be annihilated by artificial intelligence, whether as direct targets of their will to power or as collateral damage of their single-mindedly pursuing some goal we give them. The first threat depends on a confusion of intelligence with dominance: Those traits are bundled together in Homo sapiens , but an intelligence that is designed rather than having evolved needn't be saddled with ruthless megalomania.
Other threats are less fanciful, but are already being blunted. Contrary to Malthusian predictions of teeming populations eating themselves into mass starvation, the world has been increasingly feeding itself. The reasons include advances in agronomy, the spread of democratic governance and especially the demographic transition: As countries escape extreme poverty and illiteracy, their people choose to have fewer children. The Insect Apocalypse Is Here. What does it mean for the rest of life on Earth?
He was out in the country, moving fast. It was, he granted, an odd thing to feel nostalgic about. Riis had not been able to stop thinking about the missing bugs. The more he learned, the more his nostalgia gave way to worry. Insects are the vital pollinators and recyclers of ecosystems and the base of food webs everywhere. Riis was not alone in noticing their decline. In the United States, scientists recently found the population of monarch butterflies fell by 90 percent in the last 20 years, a loss of million individuals; the rusty-patched bumblebee, which once lived in 28 states, dropped by 87 percent over the same period.
Because insects are legion, inconspicuous and hard to meaningfully track, the fear that there might be far fewer than before was more felt than documented. They called it the windshield phenomenon. But by the time the nets were ready, a paper by an obscure German entomological society had brought the problem of insect decline into sharp focus. The German study found that, measured simply by weight, the overall abundance of flying insects in German nature reserves had decreased by 75 percent over just 27 years.
If you looked at midsummer population peaks, the drop was 82 percent. Riis learned about the study from a group of his students in one of their class projects. They must have made some kind of mistake in their citation, he thought. The study would quickly become, according to the website Altmetric, the sixth-most-discussed scientific paper of How could something as fundamental as the bugs in the sky just disappear?
And what would become of the world without them? This is especially true when it comes to changes to the natural world. It is impossible to maintain a fixed perspective, as Heraclitus observed 2, years ago: It is not the same river, but we are also not the same people.
A study, by Peter H. Kahn and Batya Friedman, of the way some children in Houston experienced pollution summed up our blindness this way: The world never feels fallen, because we grow accustomed to the fall.
By one measure, bugs are the wildlife we know best, the nondomesticated animals whose lives intersect most intimately with our own: We sometimes feel that we know them rather too well. There are 12, types of ants, nearly 20, varieties of bees, almost , species of beetles, so many that the geneticist J. Haldane reportedly quipped that God must have an inordinate fondness for them.
A bit of healthy soil a foot square and two inches deep might easily be home to unique species of mites, each, presumably, with a subtly different job to do. And yet entomologists estimate that all this amazing, absurd and understudied variety represents perhaps only 20 percent of the actual diversity of insects on our planet — that there are millions and millions of species that are entirely unknown to science. With so much abundance, it very likely never occurred to most entomologists of the past that their multitudinous subjects might dwindle away.
As they poured themselves into studies of the life cycles and taxonomies of the species that fascinated them, few thought to measure or record something as boring as their number. When entomologists began noticing and investigating insect declines, they lamented the absence of solid information from the past in which to ground their experiences of the present. He was surprised to find that no such studies existed.
If entomologists lacked data, what they did have were some very worrying clues. Along with the impression that they were seeing fewer bugs in their own jars and nets while out doing experiments — a windshield phenomenon specific to the sorts of people who have bug jars and nets — there were documented downward slides of well-studied bugs, including various kinds of bees, moths, butterflies and beetles.
In Britain, as many as 30 to 60 percent of species were found to have diminishing ranges. Larger trends were harder to pin down, though a review in Science tried to quantify these declines by synthesizing the findings of existing studies and found that a majority of monitored species were declining, on average by 45 percent. Entomologists also knew that climate change and the overall degradation of global habitat are bad news for biodiversity in general, and that insects are dealing with the particular challenges posed by herbicides and pesticides, along with the effects of losing meadows, forests and even weedy patches to the relentless expansion of human spaces.
There were studies of other, better-understood species that suggested that the insects associated with them might be declining, too. People who studied fish found that the fish had fewer mayflies to eat. Ornithologists kept finding that birds that rely on insects for food were in trouble: Half of all farmland birds in Europe disappeared in just three decades.
At first, many scientists assumed the familiar culprit of habitat destruction was at work, but then they began to wonder if the birds might simply be starving. In Denmark, an ornithologist named Anders Tottrup was the one who came up with the idea of turning cars into insect trackers for the windshield-effect study after he noticed that rollers, little owls, Eurasian hobbies and bee-eaters — all birds that subsist on large insects such as beetles and dragonflies — had abruptly disappeared from the landscape.
The signs were certainly alarming, but they were also just signs, not enough to justify grand pronouncements about the health of insects as a whole or about what might be driving a widespread, cross-species decline.
Then came the German study. Scientists are still cautious about what the findings might imply about other regions of the world. The numbers were stark, indicating a vast impoverishment of an entire insect universe, even in protected areas where insects ought to be under less stress. The speed and scale of the drop were shocking even to entomologists who were already anxious about bees or fireflies or the cleanliness of car windshields.
The results were surprising in another way too. When it was founded, in , the society operated out of another building, one that was destroyed when Britain bombed the city during World War II.
Nowadays, the society uses more than 6, square feet of an old three-story school as storage space. I asked my guide, a society member named Martin Sorg, who was one of the lead authors of the paper, whether those dates reflected when the specimens were collected. Amateurs have long provided much of the patchy knowledge we have about nature. Those bee and butterfly studies?
Most depend on mass mobilizations of volunteers willing to walk transects and count insects, every two weeks or every year, year after year. February's Snow Moon date - when is it? Path of totality mapped What are the rest of the Full Moon names and Redox traits characterize the organization of global microbial communities To a great extent, living organisms control the But even if the car and spaceman is Raccoons Keep Calm and Carry On!
These cute raccoons appear to be waiting to be fed with the front one looking to keep every This octopus fans out its tentacles as if showing off while having its picture taken!
The dangers of worrying about doomsday
10 hours ago APOCALYPSE WARNING: Insect population must be saved or 'LIFE Massive insect decline could have 'catastrophic' environmental impact, study says . All Insects Will Vanish from Earth Within Years if 'Catastrophic'. Massive insect decline could have 'catastrophic' environmental impact, study says APOCALYPSE WARNING: Insect population must be saved or 'LIFE WILL . All Insects Will Vanish from Earth Within Years if 'Catastrophic' Population . What does it mean for the rest of life on Earth? They must have made some kind of mistake in their citation, he thought. How could something as fundamental as the bugs in the sky just disappear? This is especially true of insect populations, which are naturally variable, with wide, trend-obscuring.