Global map reveals ‘unsafe levels’ of biodiversity across 58pc of Earth’s surface
Biodiversity has dropped below the “safe limit” across 58 per cent of the Earth’s surface, according to the most comprehensive analysis of global data to date.
- Planet’s “safe limits” exceeded if less than 90 per cent abundance of original species or 80 per cent of those species is retained
- Analysis found average local abundance of species across the world was 84.6 per cent
- Other experts say study is a warning but more work needed to clarify
The international study, published today in the journal Science, suggests that the degree of lost biodiversity across more than half the world’s surface is substantial enough to question the ability of many ecosystems to support human societies.
“We’ve found that across most of the world, biodiversity loss is no longer within the safe limit suggested by ecologists,” said lead researcher Dr Tim Newbold of University College London.
“We know biodiversity loss affects ecosystem function but how it does this is not entirely clear.
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