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Tag: decline

Global insect decline may see 'plague of pests'

Global insect decline may see 'plague of pests'

Science
A scientific review of insect numbers suggests that 40% of species are undergoing "dramatic rates of decline" around the world.The study says that bees, ants and beetles are disappearing eight times faster than mammals, birds or reptiles.But researchers say that some species, such as houseflies and cockroaches, are likely to boom.The general insect decline is being caused by intensive agriculture, pesticides and climate change. Insects make up the majority of creatures that live on land, and provide key benefits to many other species, including humans. They provide food for birds, bats and small mammals; they pollinate around 75% of the crops in the world; they replenish soils and keep pest numbers in check.Many other studies in ...
Wintertime ice growth in the Arctic is accelerating, slowing historic decline

Wintertime ice growth in the Arctic is accelerating, slowing historic decline

Science
Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Sea ice coverage in the Arctic has been on a precipitous decline over the last few decades, but new research from NASA suggests an increase in wintertime ice growth could help slow the trend -- but only momentarily. Despite the study's surprising revelation, scientists say the longterm prognosis for the ice caps remains poor. "This increase in the amount of sea ice growing in winter doesn't overcome the large increase in melting we've observed in recent decades," Alek Petty, a sea ice scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said in a news release. "Overall, thickness is decreasing. Arctic sea ice is still very much in decline across all seasons and is projected to continue its decline over the coming decades." Petty is the lead author of the new study of wintertim...
'Remarkable' decline in fertility rates

'Remarkable' decline in fertility rates

Health
There has been a remarkable global decline in the number of children women are having, say researchers. Their report found fertility rate falls meant nearly half of countries were now facing a "baby bust" - meaning there are insufficient children to maintain their population size.The researchers said the findings were a "huge surprise".And there would be profound consequences for societies with "more grandparents than grandchildren".How big has the fall been?The study, published in the Lancet, followed trends in every country from 1950 to 2017.In 1950, women were having an average of 4.7 children in their lifetime. The fertility rate all but halved to 2.4 children per woman by last year. But that masks huge variation between nations. The fertility rate in...
Tawny owl decline: Public urged to record 'twit-twoos'

Tawny owl decline: Public urged to record 'twit-twoos'

Science
Bird lovers are being urged to give up 20 minutes every week to listen out for the "twit-twoo" call of the Tawny owl, amid concerns over its numbers.The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) is asking people to listen for the distinctive hoot from their garden, a local park or woodland, once every week for the next six months."You can even do it from the comfort of your bed," said BTO's Claire Boothby.Light pollution and urbanisation are thought to be impacting populations.The conservation status of the Tawny owl recently changed from green to amber, signalling a growing concern for the species.'Anyone can take part'Researchers hope the Tawny Owl Calling survey, which runs from 30 September to 31 March, will help them understand if...
Emissions from energy-rich Norway on the decline

Emissions from energy-rich Norway on the decline

Business
Aug. 15 (UPI) -- The Norwegian government reported Wednesday that total greenhouse gas emissions were lower, with declines in pollution from road traffic leading the way. Statistics Norway, the government's record-keeping agency, published data showing total greenhouse gas emissions declined in 2017 by 1.7 percent from the previous year. By sector, manufacturing and mining had the greatest increase with 4.3 percent from 2016, while emissions from road transportation had the greatest decrease with 9.6 percent. There were 142,490 total electric cars registered in the country at the beginning of the year, up more than 40 percent from one year ago. Passenger vehicles made up 97 percent of that total. The Norwegian government said electric vehicles make up about 5 percent of the passenger flee...