Rubbish dumped on the tundra outside llulissat in Greenland stand in stark contrast to icebergs behind from the Sermeq Kujullaq or llulissat Ice fjord – a Unesco world heritage site. Photograph: Global Warming Images/WWF-Canon
Currently, the global population is cutting down trees faster than they regrow, catching fish faster than the oceans can restock, pumping water from rivers and aquifers faster than rainfall can replenish them and emitting more climate-warming carbon dioxide than oceans and forests can absorb.
The number of animals living on the land has fallen by 40% since 1970. From forest elephants in central Africa, where poaching rates now exceed birth rates, to the Hoolock gibbon in Bangladesh and European snakes like the meadow and asp vipers, destruction of habitat has seen populations tumble.
And that’s only the tiny photogenic tip of the colossal iceberg.
100-200 species per day are going extinct, mostly due to human activity. That’s 1000-10000 times the “background” extinction rate.
A 2003 Nature article estimated that about 25 percent of species will likely go extinct by 2050.
And the situation has gotten worse since then.