“Our research shows that insects are highly sensitive to human activity,” said Charlie Othwaite, lead author of the book. Research recently published in the journal Nature figured out. “This is concerning, because climate change appears to be unstoppable at the moment and agricultural areas are getting bigger and bigger. Our findings therefore emphasize the need to protect natural ecosystems, reduce intensive farming and reduce harmful emissions.”
Failure to do so could have far-reaching consequences. Not only for insects, but also for human health and food safety. Insects play an essential role in ecosystems, for example in the form of pollination, pest control and the recycling of nutrients.
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Climate change and insect mortality
The research team compared the diversity of insects with agricultural use and the impact of climate change in different regions. When the effects of climate change are already very noticeable, the number of insects turns out to be 49 percent lower than in areas that have not yet experienced the effects of climate change. The number of different insect species was also much lower, around 29 percent.
lack of shade
According to scientists, climate change and an increase in agriculture reinforce each other. Many insects benefit from the shade of plants on hot days. But if they are not present or less present (due to increased cultivation), insects become more vulnerable to climate change. Especially on hot days. In areas where 75 percent of the country remains a natural habitat, the insect population appears to have decreased by “only” 7 percent. In areas where agriculture occupies 75 percent of the land, the number of insects has already decreased by 63 percent.
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Tip of the iceberg
According to the researchers, these findings are likely just the tip of the iceberg. It is difficult to conduct comprehensive research especially in the tropics. But the researchers believe this is where the impact of climate change on insects is greatest.
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