The innumerable benefits provided by the Earth – everything from fresh water and clean air to productive soils, wild fisheries, and genetic resources - have been depleted at an unprecedented rate in the past 50 years, and in many cases humans are living on borrowed time unless they wake up, a group of scientific experts said today.
In presentations made jointly in 12 cities around the world, authors of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment delivered a major report on the grim status of the services provided by the planets ecosystems and the consequences to human well-being. The report also outlined possible responses that might be adopted to improve ecosystem management and contribute to human well-being.
"This is a sobering report card - but one with useful and hopeful options" said Jane Lubchenco, the Wayne and Gladys Valley Professor of Marine Biology at Oregon State University, and one of the studys 1,360 authors from 95 countries. "Everyone in the world depends on nature and ecosystem services to provide the conditions for a decent, healthy and secure life," Lubchenco said.
"We hear a lot about various environmental problems and ecological issues, but this report integrates all of the changes underway and shows explicitly how they relate to human well-being," Lubchenco said. The severity of the problems, Lubchenco said, does not mean the situation is hopeless.
"Social change is not always steady and gradual," she said. "Once people better understand the situation and what we have to do, I think its possible we could see dramatic actions from many groups, including business, the general public, religious groups, and the scientific and political communities. The scientific community is offering an evaluation and suggested options. Now is a real opportunity for leadership."
The study said that three key changes must take place before major change is realistic.
People must first understand that the services provided by nature are not free and limitless. Local communities must have real influence in how conservation decisions are made, and end up with a fair share of the benefits. And the whole process must become more broad-based, not confined to a single government agency or one small part of a corporate bureaucracy.
Better understanding the real economic value of natural systems, and the bottom-line cost of losing them, will help, the study suggested.
Businesses must also learn that their long-term corporate survival may depend on protection of ecosystems, the report concluded, and they should explore changing consumer preferences and new business opportunities created by the demands of a changing world.
Jane Lubchenco | EurekAlert!
Minimized water consumption in CSP plants - EU project MinWaterCSP is making good progress
05.12.2017 | Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum
Jena Experiment: Loss of species destroys ecosystems
28.11.2017 | Technische Universität München
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications
Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...
Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.
The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...
Transistors based on carbon nanostructures: what sounds like a futuristic dream could be reality in just a few years' time. An international research team working with Empa has now succeeded in producing nanotransistors from graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, as reported in the current issue of the trade journal "Nature Communications."
Graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, so-called graphene nanoribbons, have special electrical properties that make them promising candidates for the...
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
05.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Life Sciences
08.12.2017 | Information Technology
08.12.2017 | Information Technology