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'Catastrophic collapse': Plunging insect numbers threaten 'survival of mankind'

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'Catastrophic collapse': Plunging insect numbers threaten 'survival of mankind'

Insect numbers are collapsing around the world, which could cause the "catastrophic collapse of nature's ecosystems" and threaten "the survival of mankind".

The first global scientific meta-analysis, published in the journal Biological Conservation, looked at 73 studies conducted around the world. And the results were disturbing.

More than 40 percent of insect species are declining - and the rate of extinction is about eight times faster than that affecting birds, mammals and reptiles. Based on current trends, insects could be extinct within a century.

"The [insect] trends confirm that the sixth major extinction event is profoundly impacting [on] life forms on our planet," the authors wrote.

"The repercussions this will have for the planet's ecosystems are catastrophic to say the least."

Insects make up two-thirds of all life on earth by number. They pollinate plants, enrich our soil, and provide food for larger animals in the food chain. Their loss would be devastating to both agriculture and the environment.

"If insect species losses cannot be halted, this will have catastrophic consequences for both the planet's ecosystems and for the survival of mankind," said review author Francisco Sánchez-Bayo told The Guardian.

"It is very rapid. In 10 years you will have a quarter less, in 50 years only half left and in 100 years you will have none."

The main cause has been blamed on agricultural intensification, and the use of pesticides and herbicides.

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How does anyone believe any of these scare stories coming out of the fake scientific community. Here we are all going to die because of missing insects. Instead of blaming this one on global warming, they are targeting the farmers again.

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oh yeah :lol: I saw that k rap on huffpost this morning.

since I'm ascared of bugs I doan care.

:D

 

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Global warming: More insects, eating more crops

Crop losses for critical food grains will increase substantially as the climate warms, as rising temperatures increase the metabolic rate and population growth of insect pests, according to new research.

"Climate change will have a negative impact on crops," said Scott Merrill of the University of Vermont, a co-author of the study published today in Science. "We're going to see increased pest pressure with climate change."

The research team looked at how the insect pests that attack three staple crops - rice, maize and wheat - would respond under a variety of climate scenarios. They found that rising global temperatures would lead to an increase in crop losses from insects, especially in temperate regions. Losses are projected to rise by 10 to 25% per degree of warming.

Just a 2-degree rise in global average temperature will result in total crop losses of approximately 213 million tons for the three grains, the researchers say.

Insects like it hotter - up to a point

The losses will come from an increase in insect metabolism, and from faster insect population growth rates. The link with metabolism is straightforward. "When the temperature increases, the insects' metabolism increases so they have to eat more," said Merrill, a researcher in UVM's Dept. of Plant and Soil Science and Gund Institute for Environment. "That's not good for crops."

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Six months ago, it was a crisis of insects for farmers. Today, it is the complete opposite. They make up whatever they want and it gets spread in the media like it's all fact.

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I've been noticing the disappearance of insects in Southern Ontario for years. Butterflies, in particular, are largely gone. You now see only a small handful each summer.

I've also been in fields which were once alive with the sounds of insects, of grasshoppers flying, and crickets chirping, not to mention the butterflies. That is no longer the case as it once was.

I've mentioned it to others who have either noticed insects largely disappearing, as well, or, in stopping to think about it, agree with me.

August and, perhaps, September, too, are the the months in which I hear crickets chirping more than any other time, and see a fair amount of dragonflies.

There are blessings, too, of course. Last year I didn't get a single fly in the house, and I barely saw any mosquitoes (there had been some pesticides dropped nearby by helicopter during the spring so that may have had something to do with it).

I have been wondering how long before the disappearance of insects will start to impact bird populations.

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Down here during the summer months people used to have to wash their cars every week due to the amount of bugs one hit during the average drive. I haven't noticed squashed bugs on my or other's vehicles for the past few years now. Mosquitoes are still a problem, as are ants, but most other bugs have been less noticeable. I rarely see butterflies or bees any more. I've also noticed less birds.

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