Insect numbers decline as a consequence of climate change

A new study found a 47% decline in insect numbers due to climate change.

Cc Lee
9th May 2022
Credits:@rawpixel via Flickr
A recent scientific study found a 47% decline in insect populations around landscapes that had agricultural farming. Whilst some species have stayed the same in parts not affected by agricultural farming, scientists have drawn the conclusion that climate change is the direct cause of the decline.

Many ecosystems thrive on biodiversity, a factor which helps preserve insect populations. Many insects need shade to shelter from the sun, especially in the hotter weather. However, with climate change largely impacting global temperatures and weather patterns, this has made weather conditions mainly uninhabitable. This is due to the constant drive to cut down trees and reduce the land to its bare minimum so cattle can roam on it. This means limiting the amount of biodiversity for insect habitats.

Agriculture is a primary reason for the decline because ecosystems are being striped in favour of herding cattle on the land. This is significant in international farming, where deforestation is increasing, but it also represents an issue in the UK. The decline in the insect numbers can also be linked to the lack of variation that farms grow. Many farmers grow a specific crop, year in year out, which limits the biodiversity and has a subsequent effect on insect populations.

The earth's health depends on biodiversity

This is a worry for human habitation on earth, as the earth's health depends on biodiversity. Without it, insects will continue to die off, ending the human species as we know it. This is especially serious because pollinators are also dying out as a result of agriculture farming and this will cause a decline in plant populations as well.

The main solution that scientists are calling for is a move away from agricultural farming. With an emphasis on growing a wider range of crops all year round so that farm land is constantly producing vegetation. We also need to maintain hedgerows and land surrounding farms in order to support the wildlife and insects that should be their habitants.

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