Insect Population Reduced Owing to Climate Change and Farming

Published on: 22 April 2022 08:05 AM
by KnowESG

Climate change and intensive agricultural farming, according to a recently completed study, have reduced the insect population by half in some parts of the world. Insects are in danger because of new technology in farming and changes in the climate.

UK scientists say that we need to think about the danger we are putting insects in before they disappear completely from the world.

Dr Charlie Outhwaite, a researcher at University College London, said: "losing insect populations could be harmful not only to the natural environment but to "human health and food security, particularly with losses of pollinators. Our findings highlight the urgency of actions to preserve natural habitats, slow the expansion of high-intensity agriculture, and cut emissions to mitigate climate change."

The study, however, has a mixed picture. On the one hand, insects show a drastic decline, while on the other hand, some have a steady growth.

For their current study, the researchers gathered data on roughly 20,000 insect species, including bees, ants, butterflies, grasshoppers, and dragonflies, from nearly 6,000 different places.

The study said insect numbers declined by 49 per cent in areas of high-intensity agriculture and substantial warming. Compared to places that have not changed much, about 27% of other species haven't been affected by climate change.

There is some good news, though. When the land was set aside for nature, insects, which need shade to thrive in hot weather, found a home.

Study researcher, Peter McCann, said: "We need to acknowledge how important insects are for the environment as a whole and for human health and well-being, to address the threats we pose to them before many species are lost forever."

The potential solutions include: planting a variety of crops, preserving hedgerows and patches of forest near farmlands and avoiding intensive agriculture.