The number of wild animals living on Earth is set to fall by two-thirds by 2020, according to a new report, part of a mass extinction that is destroying the natural world upon which humanity depends.The analysis, the most comprehensive to date, indicates that animal populations plummeted by 58% between 1970 and 2012, with losses on track to reach 67% by 2020. Researchers from WWF and the Zoological Society of London compiled the report from scientific data and found that the destruction of wild habitats, hunting and pollution were to blame.
Someone, or something, is killing thousands of birds in Atlanta. Since spring, the death toll began rising every week.For Atlanta office workers, the dead birds are a sad sight at their doorstep. Now, Audubon Society volunteers are tracking and finding the dead or dying birds, many of them in Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and Buckhead.
As the salmon are dying by the millions, the government issued an emergency order along the western U.S. coast to cancel the spring king, or Chinook, salmon fishing activities. According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, salmon runs have dropped to record levels. Experts predict that the return of spawning Chinook salmon to the Klamath River will hit its lowest point ever this fall. It will be a huge challenge and difficult year for ocean salmon fishermen, especially in Oregon and California, reported the Council Chair Herb Pollard.“We’ve been in a period of low productivity, not just on the Taku, but on several rivers up and down the coast,” said Juneau Area Management Biologist Daniel Teske, who expects a second-straight year of record-low salmon returning to their birthplace. Teske added that he is almost certain that the increased die-off must be happening in the ocean since all four rivers are being affected by low returns of the Southeast king salmon.
An earlier study by Cambridge University found that mankind is shrinking in size significantly.Experts say humans are past their peak and that modern-day people are 10 percent smaller and shorter than their hunter-gatherer ancestors.And if that’s not depressing enough, our brains are also smaller.The findings reverse perceived wisdom that humans have grown taller and larger, a belief which has grown from data on more recent physical development.
Geneticists have long worried about the impact of mutations on the human population, and that at a rate of one deleterious mutation per person per generation, genetic deterioration would result. Earlier reports were based on estimates of mutation rates considerable lower than what we now know to be the case. Findings going back to 2002 show that the human mutation rate is at least 100 mistakes (misspellings) per person per generation. Some scientists believe the rate is closer to 300.Even a rate of 100 has profound implications, and the mutation rate is itself increasing. Furthermore, most, if not all, mutations in the human genome must be deleterious. “And nothing can reverse the damage that has been done during our own generation, even if further mutations could be stopped.” It would appear that the process is an irreversible downward spiral that will end in “mutational meltdown”.
The conclusion of a new astronomical study pulls no punches on this. “The Universe is slowly dying,” it reads.Astronomers have believed as much for years, but the new findings establish the cosmos’ decline with unprecedented precision.
“The universe has basically sat down on the sofa, pulled up a blanket and is about to nod off for an eternal doze,” said astronomer Simon Driver, who led the team.