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SCIENCE - Pervasive human-driven decline of life on Earth points to the need for transformative change

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December 12, 2019 Author:

Science Magazine

DOI: 10.1126/science.aax3100

The largest review to date of natural and social science evidence shows clearly that 35 the human impact on life on Earth has increased sharply since the 1970s, driven by the demands

of a growing population with rising average per capita income. Nature is currently supplying more materials than ever before but this has come at the high cost of unprecedented global declines in the extent and integrity of ecosystems, distinctness of local ecological communities, abundance and number of wild species, and the number of local domesticated varieties. Such changes reduce vital benefits that people receive from nature and threaten the quality of life of future generations. Both the benefits of an expanding economy and the costs of reducing nature’s benefits are unequally distributed. The fabric of life on which we all depend – nature and its contributions to people – is unravelling rapidly. Despite the severity of the threats and lack of enough progress in tackling them to date, opportunities exist to change future trajectories through transformative action. Such action must begin immediately, however, and address the root economic, social and technological causes of nature’s deterioration.

 

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Authors

Jianguo

Jianguo "Jack" Liu
517-432-5025
liuji@msu.edu


For more information visit:

Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife

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