The Foreseer | Global Trends
Biodiversity Loss

Biodiversity Decline

By in @Home, Environment on April 10, 2015

Biodiversity is suffering a higher decline rate…

The 2014 Living Planet Report, published by Global Footprint Network, WWF and the Zoological Society.

The 2014 Living Planet Report, published by Global Footprint Network, WWF and the Zoological Society.

The Living Planet Report 2014, released September 30, 2014, shows that humanity’s demand on the planet is more than 50 percent larger than what nature can renew, jeopardizing the well-being of humans as well as populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish.

Humanity’s Ecological Footprint has more than doubled since 1961, according to the Living Planet Report. At the same time, vertebrate wildlife populations have declined, on average, by more than half in just four decades, as measured by the Living Planet Index.

It would take 1.5 Earths to produce the resources necessary to support humanity’s current Ecological Footprint. This global overshoot means, for example, that we are cutting timber more quickly than trees regrow and releasing CO2 faster than nature can sequester it.

Growth in the Ecological Footprint is largely attributable to the carbon Footprint, which has increased to comprise 53 percent of our Footprint in 2010 from 36 percent in 1961. Carbon emissions (in particular) and food demand are the major drivers of the escalating Footprint. In addition, from 1961 to 2010, the global human population increased from 3.1 billion to 6.9 billion, and the per capita Ecological Footprint increased from 2.5 to 2.6 global hectares.

Further reading available here.


The 9 Limits of our Planet… and how we have raced past 4 of them

In a startling January 2015 paper in Science, Johan Rockström says humanity has already raced past four of the nine boundaries keeping our planet hospitable to modern life. The climate is changing too quickly, species are going extinct too fast, we’re adding too many nutrients like nitrogen to our ecosystems, and we keep on cutting down forests and other natural lands. And we’re inching towards crossing the remaining five boundaries (see image).

9-Planetary-Boundaries

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