Thursday 14 January 2021

It is much worse than they are telling us: Up to 1 million: species threatened with extinction: Tens to hundreds of times: the extent to which the current rate of global species extinction is higher compared to average over the last 10 million years, and the rate is accelerating

Current global response insufficient.
‘Transformative changes’ needed to restore and protect nature; 1,000,000 species threatened with extinction, credit UN

In May 2020, the UN released a paper on natures unprecedented dangerous decline and the accelerating extension of our species here on Earth. And in a typical UN goody-goody counterclaim, they say: The Report also tells us that it is not too late to make a difference, but only if we start now at every level from local to global. But if we analyse the UN's own figures along with other leading experts it is painfully obvious and a blatant lie that with a little tender-loving-care we can make a difference and turn things around. It's too little too late.

Compiled by 145 "expert" authors from 50 countries over the past three years, with inputs from another 310 contributing authors, the Report assesses changes over the past five decades, providing a comprehensive picture of the relationship between economic development pathways and their impacts on nature. It also offers a range of possible scenarios for the coming decades, which is another lie, we don't have coming decades at this time, we will do very well to survive this decade the situation is that bad.

The paper, while focussing on the plight of wildlife fails to mention the sudden increase in wild animal deaths from the incredible 2020 Australian wildfire season when 3 Billion animals were killed or injured and 25% of the Australian temperate forest was lost in just one season. Or the sudden demise of millions of sea birds left dead from starvation which started in 2015 in the Western North Pacific area. The birds are almost certainly dying from the lack of fish along the Westcoast. In 2019 and 20 wild salmon stocks looked to have almost disappeared in Alaska, Oregon, Scotland and Denmark.

Back in October 2019, a global group of around 11,000 scientists endorsed research that claimed the world is facing a climate emergency. The study, based on 40 years of data on a range of measures, says governments are failing to address the crisis. (Because addressing the crisis costs money).  Without deep and lasting changes, the world is facing "untold human suffering" the study says. The researchers say they have a moral obligation to warn of the scale of the threat. (I would suggest they are around twenty years too late!)

On the same day the report was released, October 2019 was named the warmest October ever across the globe. Summer 2019 was hottest on record for the Northern Hemisphere according to a report by NOAA and of course, 2020 has been named the equally hottest year ever recorded tying with 2016. According to a report by Berkeley Earth, hundreds of heat records were broken over the summer of 2019. The records were broken in 29 countries for the period from 1 May to 30 August this year. A third of the all-time high temperatures were in Germany, followed by France and the Netherlands. Many countries in Europe broke weather records going back almost 200 years. It wasn't just Europe of course, the U.S., Canada, Japan, Pakistan and India all saw all-time records smashed in 2019. 2020 was even worse.

The hot and dry conditions brought a new menace to the planet in 2019 in the way of, out-of-control "country size" wildfires. The 4.3 million hectare fire in Siberia, an area larger than Denmark contributed significantly to climate change. Wildfires in the Amazon rainforest hit a record number2019, according to research carried out by Brazil's space research centre (INPE). It cited an incredible 72,843 fires, marking an increase of 83% compared to 2018 - the highest since records began in 2013.

Meanwhile, millions of wild animals, including jaguars, pumas and llamas, perished in the weeks of wildfires that devastated huge swaths of the Bolivian and Brazilian forest and grassland this summer. The number of Indonesian people suffering respiratory problems caused by smoke from forest and peatland fires blanketing parts of Borneo and Sumatra this year was in the millions, according to the authorities. India's capital New Delhi was called a "gas chamber" with smog from fires and pollution killing nearly 2 million Indian's per year. California's biggest, most ruinous wildfire in 2019, a wind-driven blaze that scorched 120 square miles (310 square kilometres) was declared fully contained and extinguished only for a new horror show to erupt in New South Wales, Australia. According to authorities, an "unprecedented" number of emergency-level wildfires streaked across New South Wales, in drought-affected areas aided by gusty dry winds and almost 50 deg C, (122 deg F) heat. In 2020 California smashed 2019 wildfire season when the State suffered its worse fire season in history which also killed or injured many millions of species.

Our oceans are in a worse state, warmer than normal waters are destroying fragile eco-systems, overfishing, dead zones from algae and bacteria are killing marine life at an unprecedented and unsustainable rate. Reuters claimed 2019 was Alaska’s hottest summer on record, the latest benchmark in a long-term warming trend with ominous repercussions ranging from rapidly vanishing summer sea ice and melting glaciers to raging wildfires and deadly death and chaos for marine life. Millions of small dead sea birds have died since 2015, this year, Short-tailed Shearwaters are dying but recent years have seen puffins, murres, and auklets dying in unprecedented numbers thought to be due to starvation. From the Koyukuk River to the Kuskokwim, to Norton Sound, to Bristol Bay's Igushik River, unusually warm temperatures across Alaska this summer led to die-offs of unspawned chum, sockeye, and pink salmon. In 2018, the Scotsman reported, Global warming was being blamed for Scotland’s worst salmon season in living memory. Incredibly, some beats on famous rivers like the Spey and the Nith recorded not a single salmon caught during the entire season. Just two salmon were caught on the river Fine in Argyll, where once almost a thousand caught each season.

Sylvia Earle, author of the World Is Blue has spent 70,000 hours underwater researching our oceans and is considered one of the most important Oceanographers in the world. She claims, 90% of large fish have disappeared. Almost 40% of phytoplankton which generates oxygen and carbon capture is gone, disrupting the basic system of life on earth, leaving our oceans on the brink of collapse. As long ago as 2006, CBS News claimed our oceans would be empty of fish by 2048. Jellyfish are taking over, fast becoming the “NEW KINGS OF THE OCEAN,” The rapid growth over the last few decades of these creatures is a sign of the planet's deteriorating marine health, according to expert Lisa-ann Gershwin.

Seabirds populations have plummeted to record lows thought to be due to lack of food. According to a report from the University of Aberdeen, there has been a 70% decline in the world seabird population since 1970. Another disturbing report by Kenneth Rosenberg, Ph.D., of the Cornell Lab and American Bird Conservancy, claimed “billions” of North American Birds Have Vanished in the US and Canada, in the last fifty years.

It is not really known or understand just how much plastic is in our oceans but it is estimated at tens of trillions of particles weighing anything between 100 and 250 thousand metric tons, if we could clean up the plastic, well, nuclear pollution in our oceans will take a bit longer to clean, between 50,000 to 250,000 years. 

And here comes the Cavalry

The BBC's Matt McGrath that the global group of around 11,000 scientists, led by William J. Ripple professor of ecology at Oregon State University and researcher Christopher Wolf, have endorsed research that says the world is facing a climate emergency, (you don't say!)

Professor Ripple said: "Despite 40 years of major global negotiations, we have continued to conduct business as usual and have failed to address this crisis." "Climate change has arrived and is accelerating faster than many scientists expected." So why will we change now?

The report, released on the day that satellite data shows that last month was the warmest October on record, the new study says that simply measuring global surface temperatures is an inadequate way of capturing the real dangers of an overheating world. So the authors include a range of data which they believe represents a "suite of graphical vital signs of climate change over the past 40 years". These indicators include the growth of human and animal populations, per capita meat production, global tree cover loss, as well as fossil fuel consumption. 

Taken together, the researchers say most of their vital signs indicators are going in the wrong direction and add up to a climate emergency. "An emergency means that if we do not act or respond to the impacts of climate change by reducing our carbon emissions, reducing our livestock production, reducing our land clearing and fossil fuel consumption, the impacts will likely be more severe than we've experienced to date," said lead author Dr Thomas Newsome, from the University of Sydney. "That could mean there are areas on Earth that are not inhabitable by people." Well, this is happening now, in late 2019, early 2020, the entire West Coast of Australia was more or less inhabitable by people and wildlife as fires destroyed everything in its path. As was California, Orogon, Washington State and Colorado in the summer of 2020 during the massive wildfire season and of course the Gulf of Mexico and Carribbean islands during the record breaking 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season all these places, at least for periods of the year were inhabitable for man and beast.  

The authors set out to present a clear and simple graphical picture of a broader range of indicators that can drive home to the public and to governments that the threat is serious while the response has been poor. Where it differs is in showing that while things might be bad, they are not hopeless. (I would say it's hopeless). The researchers show six areas in which immediate steps should be taken that could make a major difference.

These are: Energy: Politicians should impose carbon fees high enough to discourage the use of fossil fuels, they should end subsidies to fossil fuel companies and implement massive conservation practices while also replacing oil and gas with renewables.

Short-lived pollutants: These include methane, hydrofluorocarbons and soot - the researchers say that limiting these has the potential to cut the short-term warming trend by 50% over the next few decades. Yet we keep on firing rockets into our atmosphere. As I mentioned earlier, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) like to blame us, for killing the planet because we drive around in gas-guzzling cars for pleasure, use aeroplanes to reach faraway destinations and work in dirty emission producing factories. However, NASA and NOAA are actually themselves to blame for the warming of our planet, let me explain once again:

When a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket blasts off on a plume of white smoke, hot gases shooting out of its 27 engines, creating a thrust equal to 18 Boeing 747 aircraft. Upon reaching orbit, the world’s heaviest operational rocket will have burned about 400 metric tons of kerosene and emitted more carbon dioxide in a few minutes than an average car would in more than two centuries. That kind of a shock to the atmosphere is stoking concerns about the effect that launching into orbit has on Earth, and it’s about to get worse. Fueled by surging data transmissions and the race for commercial space flights between Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp., Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc., the number of launches — including giants such as the Falcon Heavy and new mini-rockets — is expected to increase tenfold in the coming years. LA Times

Every time a space shuttle was launched, the solid rocket boosters released 240 tons of HCl gas, 26 tons of chlorine gas, 7 tons of nitrogen dioxide gas, and 304 tons of aluminium oxide into the atmosphere. The resulting hydrochloric acid dissolved eight inches of concrete on the launch pad during a Space Shuttle launch, raising the concentration of hydrochloric acid in nearby lakes to 3 M, producing massive fish kills in the ocean, and destroying the paint on cars. Leading chemists to believe that HCl is a major contributor to the holes in the ozone layer. SCRIBD

The Space Shuttle made 135 space flights during its 30-year career, which is more than 41,000 tons of aluminian oxide 3, 510 tons of chlorine gas, 945 tons of nitrogen dioxide gas and 32,400 tons of HCI gas thrown into our atmosphere and that is just the Space Shuttle, throw in Gemini, Apollo and Saturn missions etc, the Russian Space exploration, India and China, the thousands of satellites launched into space, thousands of sounding rockets, (NASA's airborne researchers) add to this more than 2,000 nuclear weapons tests and you begin to imagine the damage mankind has done to our atmosphere, the ionosphere and the ozone layer

Nature: Stop land clearing, restore forests, grasslands and mangroves which would all help to sequester CO2. Food: A big dietary shift is needed, say researchers so that people eat mostly plants and consume fewer animal products. Reducing food waste is also seen as critical.

Economy: Convert the economy's reliance on carbon fuels - and change away from growing the world's gross domestic product and pursuing affluence.

Population: The world needs to stabilise the global population which is growing by around 200,000 a day, almost 75 million people a year.

The idea of trying to influence human population growth is highly controversial and has been deemed too hot to handle by UN negotiators. The authors say that looking the other way is no longer an option. "It is certainly a controversial topic - but I think that population should be talked about when considering human impacts on the Earth," said Dr Newsome. "It's important when presenting these results to look at some positives, and one of the more positive things that we've pulled out of this data is that there is now a slight decline in birth rates at a global level." Which after 2020's coronavirus pandemic has slowed the birth rate even more, Hmmm.

The UN paper cites a number of key reports published in the past few years including:

The damming report goes much further in fact: 
  • 75%: terrestrial environment “severely altered” to date by human actions (marine environments 66%)
  • 47%: reduction in global indicators of ecosystem extent and condition against their estimated natural baselines, with many continuing to decline by at least 4% per decade
  • 28%: global land area held and/or managed by Indigenous Peoples, including >40% of formally protected areas and 37% of all remaining terrestrial areas with very low human intervention
  • +/-60 billion: tons of renewable and non-renewable resources extracted globally each year, up nearly 100% since 1980
  • 15%: increase in global per capita consumption of materials since 1980
  • >85%: of wetlands present in 1700 had been lost by 2000 – loss of wetlands is currently three times faster, in percentage terms than forest loss.

Species, Populations and Varieties of Plants and Animals

  • 8 million: total estimated number of animal and plant species on Earth (including 5.5 million insect species)
  • Tens to hundreds of times: the extent to which the current rate of global species extinction is higher compared to average over the last 10 million years, and the rate is accelerating
  • Up to 1 million: species threatened with extinction, many within decades
  • >500,000 (+/-9%): share of the world’s estimated 5.9 million terrestrial species with insufficient habitat for long term survival without habitat restoration
  • >40%: amphibian species threatened with extinction
  • Almost 33%: reef-forming corals, sharks and shark relatives, and >33% of marine mammals threatened with extinction
  • 25%: the average proportion of species threatened with extinction across terrestrial, freshwater and marine vertebrate, invertebrate and plant groups that have been studied in sufficient detail
  • At least 680: vertebrate species have been driven to extinction by human actions since the 16th century
  • +/-10%: a tentative estimate of the proportion of insect species threatened with extinction
  • >20%: a decline in average abundance of native species in most major terrestrial biomes, mostly since 1900
    +/-560 (+/-10%): domesticated breeds of mammals were extinct by 2016, with at least 1,000 more threatened.
  • 3.5%: the domesticated breed of birds extinct by 2016
  • 70%: increase since 1970 in numbers of invasive alien species across 21 countries with detailed records
  • 30%: reduction in global terrestrial habitat integrity caused by habitat loss and deterioration
  • 47%: the proportion of terrestrial flightless mammals and 23% of threatened birds whose distributions may have been negatively impacted by climate change already
  • >6: species of ungulate (hoofed mammals) would likely be extinct or surviving only in captivity today without conservation measures

Food and Agriculture

  • 300%: increase in food crop production since 1970
  • 23%: land areas that have seen a reduction in productivity due to land degradation
  • >75%: global food crop types that rely on animal pollination
  • US$235 to US$577 billion: the annual value of global crop output at risk due to pollinator loss
  • 5.6 gigatons: annual CO2 emissions sequestered in marine and terrestrial ecosystems – equivalent to 60% of global fossil-fuel emission
  • +/-11%: world population that is undernourished
  • 100 million: hectares of agricultural expansion in the tropics from 1980 to 2000, mainly cattle ranching in Latin America (+/-42 million ha), and plantations in Southeast Asia (+/-7.5 million ha, of which 80% is oil palm), half of it at the expense of intact forests
  • 3%: an increase in the land transformation to agriculture between 1992 and 2015, mostly at the expense of forests
  • >33%: world’s land surface (and +/-75% of freshwater resources) devoted to crop or livestock production
  • 12%: the world’s ice-free land used for crop production
  • 25%: the world’s ice-free land used for grazing (+/-70% of drylands)
  • +/-25%: greenhouse gas emissions caused by land clearing, crop production and fertilization, with animal-based food contributing 75% to that figure
  • +/-30%: global crop production and global food supply provided by small landholdings (<2 ha), using +/-25% of agricultural land, usually maintaining rich agrobiodiversity
  • $100 billion: estimated level of financial support in OECD countries (2015) to agriculture that is potentially harmful to the environment

Oceans and Fishing

  • 33%: marine fish stocks in 2015 being harvested at unsustainable levels; 60% are maximally sustainably fished; 7% are underfished
  • >55%: ocean area covered by industrial fishing
  • 3-10%: projected decrease in ocean net primary production due to climate change alone by the end of the century
  • 3-25%: projected decrease in fish biomass by the end of the century in low and high climate warming scenarios, respectively
  • >90%: the proportion of the global commercial fishers accounted for by small scale fisheries (over 30 million people) – representing nearly 50% of global fish catch
  • Up to 33%: estimated share in 2011 of the world’s reported fish catch that is illegal, unreported or unregulated
  • >10%: decrease per decade in the extent of seagrass meadows from 1970-2000
  • +/-50%: live coral cover of reefs lost since the 1870s
  • 100-300 million: people in coastal areas at increased risk due to loss of coastal habitat protection
  • 400: low oxygen (hypoxic) coastal ecosystem ‘dead zones’ caused by fertilizers, affecting >245,000 km2
  • 29%: average reduction in the extinction risk for mammals and birds in 109 countries thanks to conservation investments from 1996 to 2008; the extinction risk of birds, mammals and amphibians would have been at least 20% greater without conservation action in the recent decade
  • >107: highly threatened birds, mammals and reptiles estimated to have benefitted from the eradication of invasive mammals on islands


  • 45%: increase in raw timber production since 1970 (4 billion cubic meters in 2017)
  • +/-13 million: forestry industry jobs
  • 50%: agricultural expansion that occurred at the expense of forests
  • 50%: decrease in the net rate of forest loss since the 1990s (excluding those managed for timber or agricultural extraction)
  • 68%: global forest area today compared with the estimated pre-industrial level
  • 7%: reduction of intact forests (>500 sq. km with no human pressure) from 2000-2013 in developed and developing countries
  • 290 million ha (+/-6%): native forest cover lost from 1990-2015 due to clearing and wood harvesting
  • 110 million ha: rise in the area of planted forests from 1990-2015
  • 10-15%: global timber supplies provided by illegal forestry (up to 50% in some areas)
  • >2 billion: people who rely on wood fuel to meet their primary energy needs

Mining and Energy

  • <1%: total land used for mining, but the industry has significant negative impacts on biodiversity, emissions, water quality and human health
  • +/-17,000: large-scale mining sites (in 171 countries), mostly managed by 616 international corporations
  • +/-6,500: offshore oil and gas ocean mining installations ((in 53 countries)
  • US$345 billion: global subsidies for fossil fuels resulting in US$5 trillion in overall costs, including nature deterioration externalities; coal accounts for 52% of post-tax subsidies, petroleum for +/-33% and natural gas for +/-10%

Urbanization, Development and Socioeconomic Issues

  • >100%: the growth of urban areas since 1992
  • 25 million km: length of newly paved roads foreseen by 2050, with 90% of construction in the least developed and developing countries
  • +/-50,000: number of large dams (>15m height); +/-17 million reservoirs (>0.01 ha)
  • 105%: increase in the global human population (from 3.7 to 7.6 billion) since 1970 unevenly across countries and regions
  • 50 times higher: per capita GDP in developed vs. least developed countries
  • >2,500: conflicts over fossil fuels, water, food and land currently occurring worldwide
  • >1,000: environmental activists and journalists killed between 2002 and 2013


  • 70%: the proportion of cancer drugs that are natural or synthetic products inspired by nature
  • +/-4 billion: people who rely primarily on natural medicines
  • 17%: infectious diseases spread by animal vectors, causing >700,000 annual deaths
  • +/-821 million: people face food insecurity in Asia and Africa
  • 40%: of the global population lacks access to clean and safe drinking water
  • >80%: global wastewater discharged untreated into the environment
  • 300-400 million tons: heavy metals, solvents, toxic sludge, and other wastes from industrial facilities dumped annually into the world’s waters
  • 10 times: an increase in plastic pollution since 1980

Climate Change

  • 1 degree Celsius: average global temperature difference in 2017 compared to pre-industrial levels, rising +/-0.2 (+/-0.1) degrees Celsius per decade
  • >3 mm: annual average global sea-level rise over the past two decades
  • 16-21 cm: rise in global average sea level since 1900
  • 100% increase since 1980 in greenhouse gas emissions, raising the average global temperature by at least 0.7 degree
  • 40%: rise in the carbon footprint of tourism (to 4.5Gt of carbon dioxide) from 2009 to 2013
  • 8%: of total greenhouse gas emissions are from transport and food consumption related to tourism
  • 5%: the estimated fraction of species at risk of extinction from 2°C warmings alone, rising to 16% at 4.3°C warming
Even for global warming of 1.5 to 2 degrees, the majority of terrestrial species ranges are projected to shrink profoundly. 


Anonymous said...

Thank You.

Sultanbev said...

Here's another paper to add to the data:

This a great paper, here are some quotes that the MSM coverage left out:

“As of 2020, the overall material output of human endeavor exceeds the sum of all living biomass on Earth.”

“That we are already on the path of a sixth major extinction is now scientifically undeniable.”

“Regarding international climate-change accords”….”intended national determined contributions for post-2020 climate action have been utterly inadequate.”

This is my favourite:
“The predominant paradigm is still one of pegging ‘environment’ against ‘economy’; yet in reality, the choice is between exiting overshoot by design or disaster – because exiting overshoot is inevitable one way or another.”

“Even though climate change alone will incurr a vast economic burden possibly leading to war (nuclear, or otherwise) at a global scale, most of the world’s economies are predicated on the political idea that meaningful counteraction now is too costly to be politically palatable. Combined with financed disinformation campaigns in a bid to protect short-term profits, it is doubtful that any needed shift in economic investments of sufficient scale will be made in time.”

For some time now it has been commented that scientists are not warning us enough. Au contraire, they have been, but the media won’t mention it.

Gary Walton said...

Done Bun Can't Be Undone Sultanbev!