News That Matters

Tag: decline

Bees: Many British pollinating insects in decline, study shows

Bees: Many British pollinating insects in decline, study shows

Science
A third of British wild bees and hoverflies are in decline, according to a new study.If current trends continue, some species will be lost from Britain altogether, the scientists say.The study found "winners" and "losers" among hundreds of wild bees and hoverflies, which pollinate food crops and other plants.Common species are winning out at the expense of rarer ones, with an overall picture of biodiversity being lost.Scientists warn that the loss of nature could create problems in years to come, including the ability to grow food crops. World's biggest bee found alive Five key things about the extinction crisis ...
UN: Growing threat to food from decline in biodiversity

UN: Growing threat to food from decline in biodiversity

Science
The plants, animals, and micro-organisms that are the bedrock of food production are in decline, according to a UN study.If these critical species are lost, the report says, it "places the future of our food system under severe threat".The study says that land-use changes, pollution, and climate change are all causing biodiversity loss.While species friendly policies are increasing, they are not growing quickly enough, the scientists add. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), who've put the report together using data gathered in 91 countries, say it is the first such study of its kind. What exactly is biodiversity for food and agriculture?This is essentially the diversity of plants, animals, and other organisms, both wild and domesticated, tha...
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...