A recent issue of BioScience has revealed the severity of negative trends in certain types of environmental harm and their impact on human well-being. The viewpoint article — “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice” — was signed by more than 15,000 scientists in 184 countries.
Among the negative 25-year global trends noted in the article are:
- A 26 percent reduction in the amount of fresh water available per capita
- A drop in the harvest of wild-caught fish, despite an increase in fishing effort
- A 75 percent increase in the number of ocean dead zones
- A loss of nearly 300 million acres of forestland, much of it converted for agricultural uses
- Continuing significant increases in global carbon emissions and average temperatures
- A 35 percent rise in human population
- A collective 29 percent reduction in the numbers of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and fish
The article was written by an international team led by William Ripple, distinguished professor in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University.
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The BioScience paper featured in this story is at https://academic.oup.com/biosci/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/biosci/bix125