Thu, Mar 23, 2017 | updated 11:51 AM IST

World's biodiversity drops below 'safe levels'

Updated: Jul 15, 2016 10:23 IST

Washington D.C, Jul 15 (ANI): Animal and plant species are dropping so fast that the world biodiversity loss has reached "unsafe levels," as per a new study.

Species "intactness" has dropped below what one research group considers the safe limit across about 58 percent of Earth's terrestrial surface, the study reported.

The results, part of perhaps the most comprehensive quantification of global biodiversity change to date, provide key insights into the current extent of biodiversity losses, which have been lacking to date. The Biodiversity Intactness Index (BII) captures changes in species abundance.

Researchers hypothesize that below a so-called safe limit of biodiversity intactness, the wide range of services provided by biodiversity that underpin human well-being, such as crop pollination, waste decomposition, and regulation of the global carbon cycle, are critically threatened.

Generally, the safe limit is placed at a precautionary 10 percent reduction in BII, meaning that species abundance within a given habitat is 90 percent of its original value in the absence of human land use.

To quantitatively assess changes in BII globally, Tim Newbold et al. analyzed a database of more than 2.3 million records of greater than 39,100 species living in 18,600 sites, together representing a far more comprehensive dataset than evaluated in previous studies analyzing global biodiversity intactness.

Their BII map reveals that global biodiversity has fallen to 84.6 percent. Even if the emergence of new species in a given region is accounted for, BII is still generally under the suggested threshold, at 88 percent of its original value. The impact of land-use pressures on biodiversity varies by biome, where grasslands are most affected, and tundra and boreal forests are least affected. Overall, analysis by Newbold et al. suggests that nine of the 14 terrestrial biomes have surpassed the suggested safe limit for biodiversity, although this number drops to seven out of 14 if the appearance of new species is included in the assessment.

The authors note that the disparities between their model simulations that include the emergence of new species versus those that exclude it highlight the need to understand the effects of these new species on ecosystem function.

The study appears in journal Science. (ANI)

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 23 (ANI): Higher level of blood sugar and insulin resistance, accompanied by obesity and physical inactivity, is also linked to more rapid decline in cognitive performance, says a new study.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar.22 (ANI): Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is working on systems to forecast the natural disasters that could be used as input by States/disaster management agencies.

Full Story >>

Does universe have a time frame?

Updated: Mar 22, 2017 15:11 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar.22 (ANI): Has anybody ever wondered whether our universe has a resting time frame? A researcher is conducting an experiment to find this out.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C.[USA], Mar. 22 (ANI): A recent research suggests that essential microscopic creatures which produce half of the oxygen in the atmosphere can rapidly adapt to global warming.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 22 (ANI): He already had a research ship, dinosaur and flightless weevil named after him and now, Sir David Attenborough's hat has got another feather in the form of a 430 million-year-old shrimp ancestor.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 22 (ANI): A team of scientists has brought fresh hope to alcoholics as they are trying to find out whether or not treating the addiction is as simple as popping over-the-counter pills.

Full Story >>

Wild chimps 'surprisingly' live longer!

Updated: Mar 21, 2017 14:01 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 21 (ANI): Our close primate relatives, chimpanzees, have longer life span, if kept under the right ecological conditions.

Full Story >>

Restoring Pluto's planetary identity in crisis

Updated: Mar 18, 2017 06:55 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 18 (ANI): A decade after Pluto was ousted from the planet lineup, a supporter of the now dwarf planet is fighting to restore its title.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C [USA], Mar. 17 (ANI): The risk of hearing loss from exposure to noises is all around us every day and now, a recent study

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 16 (ANI): Today, over 95 percent of vanilla flavouring used in foods, from cereal to ice cream, is not natural and the production of the synthetic one is taking a toll on

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 16 (ANI): Good news for those who want to continue using fabric softeners but are afraid of risking the environment as a recent study has paved the way for the "greener"

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 16 (ANI): Earth's radiation belts, two doughnut-shaped regions of charged particles encircling our planet,were discovered more than 50 years ago, but their behaviour is still not completely understood.

Full Story >>

New York [U.S.A.], Mar. 13 (ANI): US tech giant Google has announced that using artificial intelligence to identify breast cancer has borne fruitful results.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 13 (ANI): Turns out, social media is far more accurate than traditional forecasting as a team of researchers has suggested that it can warn us about extreme weather events before they happen- such as hurricanes, storms and floods.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 13 (ANI): According to a recent study, arsenic molecules might be used to "fish out" the most toxic elements from radioactive nuclear waste - a breakthrough that could make the decommissioning industry even safer and more effective.

Full Story >>

So, how do financial criminals evade laws?

Updated: Mar 13, 2017 09:06 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 13 (ANI): Despite preventative measures against bankruptcy fraud and money laundering, criminals are finding ways to exploit differing regulations in the United States and Europe.

Full Story >>

New find paves way for 'brain-like' computers

Updated: Mar 13, 2017 08:48 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 13 (ANI): Turns out, brain is 10 times more active than previously measured.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 13 (ANI): A team of researchers has come up with a possible solution to the riddle of powering electric cars.

Full Story >>

Here`s how you can 'supersize' your memory

Updated: Mar 13, 2017 08:04 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 13 (ANI): Turns out, gaining a super-sized memory is as easy as attending the 30-minute training sessions daily.

Full Story >>

Longer the deadlines, higher the donations

Updated: Mar 12, 2017 20:27 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 12 (ANI): Turns out, we become more generous if we don't feel pressurised to charitable donations.

Full Story >>