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The latest climate scare—insects

The latest climate scare—insects

It is interesting to note that two of the august bodies of climate scare mongering are the universities of Sydney and Queensland. “We are witnessing the largest extinction event on Earth since the late Permian and Cretaceous periods,” the authors noted. Extraordinary research required to determine that and this statement: The recent decline in bugs that fly, crawl, burrow and skitter across still water is part of a gathering “mass extinction,” only the sixth in the last half-billion years.

Well, this editor invites these researchers to my house for a couple of days where they will discover a huge diversity of insects, many of unknown species, most of which fly, crawl, slither, bite, lay eggs and procreate prodigiously despite being gassed with fly spray. So clever are the blow flies I only have to open the fridge and before I can close the door they arrive—God knows from where! As for global warming, it is 6am as I write and 6.9℃ in Cootamundra, NSW and it is still supposed to be summer?

Source: AFP

World seeing ‘catastrophic collapse’ of insects: study

Nearly half of all insect species worldwide are in rapid decline and a third could disappear altogether, according to a study warning of dire consequences for crop pollination and natural food chains.

“Unless we change our way of producing food, insects as a whole will go down the path of extinction in a few decades,” concluded the peer-reviewed study, which is set for publication in April.

The recent decline in bugs that fly, crawl, burrow and skitter across still water is part of a gathering “mass extinction,” only the sixth in the last half-billion years.

“We are witnessing the largest extinction event on Earth since the late Permian and Cretaceous periods,” the authors noted.

The Permian end-game 252 million years ago snuffed out more than 90 percent of the planet’s life forms, while the abrupt finale of the Cretaceous 66 million years ago saw the demise of land dinosaurs.

“We estimate the current proportion of insect species in decline — 41 percent — to be twice as high as that of vertebrates,” or animals with a backbone, Francisco Sanchez-Bayo of the University of Sydney and Kris Wyckhuys of the University of Queensland in Australia reported.

“At present, a third of all insect species are threatened with extinction.”

An additional one percent join their ranks every year, they estimated. Insect biomass — sheer collective weight — is declining annually by about 2.5 percent worldwide.

“Only decisive action can avert a catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems,” the authors cautioned.

Restoring wilderness areas and a drastic reduction in the use of pesticides and chemical fertiliser are likely the best way to slow the insect loss, they said.

The study, to be published in the journal Biological Conservation, pulled together data from more than 70 datasets from across the globe, some dating back more than a century.

By a large margin, habitat change — deforestation, urbanisation, conversion to farmland — emerged as the biggest cause of insect decline and extinction threat.

Next was pollution and the widespread use of pesticides in commercial agriculture.

The recent collapse, for example, of many bird species in France was traced to the use insecticides on industrial crops such as wheat, barley, corn and wine grapes.

“There are hardly any insects left — that’s the number one problem,” said Vincent Bretagnolle, an ecologist at Centre for Biological Studies.

Experts estimate that flying insects across Europe have declined 80 percent on average, causing bird populations to drop by more than 400 million in three decades.

Only a few species of insects — mainly in the tropics — are thought to have suffered due to climate change, while some in northern climes have expanded their range as temperatures warm.

In the long run, however, scientists fear that global warming could become another major driver of insect demise.

Up to now, rising concern about biodiversity loss has mostly focused on big mammals, birds and amphibians.

But insects comprise about two-thirds of all terrestrial species, and have been the foundation of key ecosystems since emerging almost 400 million years ago.

“The essential role that insects play as food items of many vertebrates is often forgotten,” the researchers said.

Moles, hedgehogs, anteaters, lizards, amphibians, most bats, many birds and fish all feed on insects or depend on them for rearing their offspring.

Other insects filling the void left by declining species probably cannot compensate for the sharp drop in biomass, the study said.

Habitat change — deforestation, urbanisation, conversion to farmland — emerged as the biggest cause of insect decline and extinction threat

Insects are also the world’s top pollinators — 75 percent of 115 top global food crops depend on animal pollination, including cocoa, coffee, almonds and cherries.

One-in-six species of bees have gone regionally extinct somewhere in the world.

Dung beetles in the Mediterranean basin have also been hit particularly hard, with more than 60 percent of species fading in numbers.

The pace of insect decline appears to be the same in tropical and temperate climates, though there is far more data from North America and Europe than the rest of the world.

Britain has seen a measurable decline across 60 percent of its large insect groups, or taxa, followed by North America (51 percent) and Europe as a whole (44 percent).

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Botswana O'Hooligan 14/02/2019, 8:28 am

    Their rellies are here in droves despite the flick man coming in the day we rented this hovel. I reckon he fed the bastards a growth hormone for they seem to be multiplying in alarming numbers. Insect killer advertised as potent by the hardware store ($25 a litre thanks very much) just makes them drunk and more adventurous and one suspects that the unseen ones who bite every now and then are about an inch and a half between the eyes and have sabre teeth. Mind you, the Qld. Uni is only a kilometre away and that could explain it all.

  • Jack Richards 14/02/2019, 8:56 am

    6.9 in Cootamundra! It was 5.1 here this morning. I haven’t noticed any reduction in the number of insects.

    • Wallace 14/02/2019, 9:06 am

      Well Jack, you won’t find too many, if any, Green insects or Green vermin in rural areas. The same is so for flood or fire areas.

    • Albert 14/02/2019, 9:35 am

      Similar here, Jack. Summer hasn’t finished yet but tell that to my outdoor thermometer that reached a sizzling 17 degrees yesterday and today isn’t looking real clever either.

  • Lorraine 14/02/2019, 9:50 am

    You people with unwanted bugs and such. spray your property with Neem oil.
    1 tables spoon Neem Oil a squirt of dishwashing liquid fill a spray bottle with warm water. go around your home inside and out. these pest are unable to reproduce. You will have no problem if you do weekly for a month.

    • Botswana O'Hooligan 14/02/2019, 9:57 am

      Thanks L, and here is me running around flat out castrating the males and spaying females with an old stock knife filed down.

    • Pensioner Pete 14/02/2019, 10:53 am

      Ta, Lorraine. As the bugs here are in festival mode I will give your suggestion a burl. I must ask however, will this brew work on those of a Greens tilt?

  • Aktosplatz 14/02/2019, 1:43 pm

    More BS from more “Funding Seekers”.

  • Penguinite 14/02/2019, 5:06 pm

    Bees, drones and insects I thought they were talking about Parliaments Cross bitches

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