Worrying decline in insect populations across the world highlighted in new comprehensive review.
The study, which is based on 73 historical reports, has revealed that the decline in insect populations around the world is happening eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles.
Within the next few decades, as much as one third of all insect species could disappear.
Butterflies, moths, bees, beetles and aquatic insects are thought to be most at risk of going extinct.
“Our work reveals dramatic rates of decline that may lead to the extinction of 40 per cent of the world’s insect species over the next few decades,” the researchers wrote.
“From our compilation of published scientific reports, we estimate the current proportion of insect species in decline (41 per cent) to be twice as high as that of vertebrates, and the pace of local species extinction (10 per cent) eight times higher, confirming previous findings.”
A combination of factors including habitat loss, pollution, global warming and over hunting are believed to be responsible for this decline.
The outlook is worsened by the fact that insects are an important part of the world’s ecosystems, meaning that their disappearance will have dire consequences for other species.
“Unless we change our ways of producing food, insects as a whole will go down the path of extinction in a few decades,” the researchers wrote.
“The repercussions this will have for the planet’s ecosystems are catastrophic to say the least.”
Into the World of Doomsday Preppers with Author Tea Krulos
The End is near…right? For some, doomsday is right around the corner and they’re going to great lengths to be prepared.
Freelance journalist Tea Krulos prepping for doomsday
When Tea Krulos decides to write about a particular topic he finds fascinating, he gets out into the wilderness and immerses himself in it. Whether it’s breaking up a dangerous fight on the streets of Seattle with real life superhero Phoenix Jones for Heroes in the Night, or fending off aggressive wildlife while tracking Bigfoot with Monster Hunters, he takes a few risks to experience the curious inner workings of some obscure subcultures.
Over the weekend I had the opportunity to catch Tea at a local comic shop called Crimson Cowl (owned by superheroes The Watchman and Crimson Crusader) where he discussed his experiences while researching his new book Apocalypse Any Day Now. The danger may not have been immediately present this time as Tea packed up and bugged out into the world of doomsday preppers, but it seems as though the paranoia was palpable.
Tea’s journey took him from the luxury bunkers built in an abandoned missile silo beneath the surface of the Kansas prairie, into the woods with a group that teaches disaster preparedness and survival skills under the guise of a zombie apocalypse, and out into the desolate Mojave Desert for the post-apocalyptic party known as Wasteland Weekend.
If you’ve been following Cult of Weird on the cesspool that is social media for a while, you may have noticed one of my favorite pass times is to track the latest end-of-the-world predictions and take a show of hands the following day to see who survived.
So far we’ve all squeaked by unscathed.
Be it a Biblical Armageddon, natural disaster, nuclear war, or the FEMA camps of a police state as conspiracy theorists are fond of preaching, there are some who believe there is a constant looming threat to humanity. Something set to wipe out civilization as we know it. And they’ll be ready.
Who knows. Maybe the end is near.
Will you be prepared…when it’s time for the Mad Max-themed swimsuit contest?
Find out in Apocalypse Any Day Now by Tea Krulos. Available now.
Tea Krulos is also the organizer of the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference, which is happening September 13-15, 2019.
This “Peeling” Tectonic Plate Could Cause Catastrophic Earthquakes
The edge of a tectonic plate, one of the massive shelves of crust that carry the continents and ocean’s floor, is splitting right down the middle.
Scientists started to study the plate, located off the coast of Portugal, after it caused an unexpected earthquake and tsunami in 1969. They now suspect that they’re witnessing the birth of a new subduction zone, according to National Geographic, which is the point at which two plates collide and grind against each other, causing powerful earthquakes.
Drop By Drop
University of Lisbon marine geologist João Duarte suspects the plate began to split down the middle after water leaked through a heavily-fractured upper layer. But Duarte’s work hasn’t yet gone through peer review or been accepted by an academic journal, so it’s possible that his origin story for new subduction zones won’t hold water.
“It’s one of the biggest unsolved problems in plate tectonics,” Duarte told NatGeo.
Closing The Gap
If Duarte’s research is correct and the plate beneath Portugal is splitting, then that would be the first step toward a shrunken Atlantic Ocean that brings the two together, leaving a trail of powerful earthquakes in its wake.
READ MORE: A tectonic plate may have peeled apart—and that could shrink the Atlantic Ocean [National Geographic]
Threat from an Earth-Altering Asteroid Strike is REAL, Warns NASA Chief
The NASA chief’s speech comes on the heels of the space agency’s announcement that it would conduct an asteroid impact simulation to identify critical aspects of disaster response in the event of such a cataclysmic scenario.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine took the stage of this year’s Planetary Defence Conference on Monday to issue a stark warning: people should be ready for a major threat from a killer asteroid that could collide with Earth if our planet is not better protected.
“We have to use our systems, use our capabilities to ultimately get a lot more data, and we have to do it faster. We know for a fact that the dinosaurs did not have a space programme. But we do, and we need to use it”, he said.
Bridenstine continued by saying that normally the idea of a giant interstellar object smashing into Earth is met with a “giggle factor”, but people should not have that false sense of security somehow imposed on them by a myriad of themed Hollywood blockbusters.
“We have to make sure that people understand that this is not about Hollywood, it’s not about the movies. This is about ultimately protecting the only planet we know, right now, to host life and that is the planet Earth”, the scientist added.
NASA’s chief made a reference to a 65-foot (20-metre) meteor that exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in February 2013, just 14 miles above the Earth’s surface.
The flaming meteorite crashed with a massive boom, blowing out windows, damaging thousands of buildings in the area and injuring about 1,500 people, mostly from broken glass.
“These events are not rare. They happen”, he maintained.
Last week, NASA announced that it had teamed up with international partners to perform a “tabletop exercise” on how to handle a hypothetical asteroid on a collision course with Earth.
“These exercises have really helped us in the planetary defence community to understand what our colleagues on the disaster management side need to know. This exercise will help us develop more effective communications with each other and with our governments”, NASA’s Planetary Defence Officer Lindley Johnson said.
Aside from the aforementioned plans, NASA is getting ready for its first spacecraft impact asteroid redirect mission, dubbed “Double Asteroid Redirection Test” (DART), which is set for June 2021.
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