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Plummeting insect numbers threaten collapse of nature
03-08-2019, 01:47 AM
Post: #21
RE: Plummeting insect numbers threaten collapse of nature
(03-07-2019 08:15 AM)rncgray Wrote:  I have been following this thread with an increasing sense of unease as we seemingly demean ourselves by being flippant about a serious topic. The decline of the insects, who E. O. Wilson describes as "the tiny things who run the world", is well documented (1-3) and will have very serious consequences for all life on Earth.

Richard Gray

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03-08-2019, 04:20 AM (This post was last modified: 03-08-2019 08:18 AM by Dan.)
Post: #22
RE: Plummeting insect numbers threaten collapse of nature
(03-07-2019 09:47 PM)burkhard Wrote:  Anything I see Paul Ehrlich involved in instantly loses a lot of credibility for me...once Ehrlich is on board, things get more than a bit dubious for me. That's not a rare reaction—I'm a bit surprised legitimate researchers would be involved if he is on board; shows poor judgment on their part.

Please read my second post above. Paul Ehrlich was not involved in this study.

The scientific review was written by Francisco Sanchez-Bayo of the University of Sydney, Australia and Kris Wyckhuys at the China Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing, and published in the journal "Biological Conservation", a "leading international journal in the discipline of conservation science". It can be found here.

(03-07-2019 08:15 AM)rncgray Wrote:  The decline of the insects, who E. O. Wilson describes as "the tiny things who run the world", is well documented (1-3) and will have very serious consequences for all life on Earth...Multiple anecdotal accounts (my own included) of a large decrease in nocturnal insect activity in the last 50 years.

Indeed, in addition to pesticides and global warming, light pollution may also be a contributing factor. One look at the Earth at night shows how bad it has become:



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03-08-2019, 12:49 PM
Post: #23
RE: Plummeting insect numbers threaten collapse of nature
Hello!

(03-08-2019 04:20 AM)Dan Wrote:  One look at the Earth at night shows how bad it has become:

To this topic I can contribute anectdotical evidence as well. I joined the local amateur astronomer group when I moved to "our" town (Tübingen) in southeastern Germany 19 years ago. I am part of the team which gives public talks at the local observatory and shows and explains the night sky to the public. Although I know my way around the constellations reasonably well and my eyesight is good enough to be allowed to fly transport category aeroplanes I (and my other teammates) have increasing difficulties to identify celestial objects. During the last years, even in many cloudless and seemingly dark nights only a handful of bright stars remain visible to the unaided eye, which makes it very difficult to find dim objects with the telescope.
As much as I welcome LED lighting for it's low power consumption, it is my impression that this is also the main culprit for the recent increase in light pollution. Lighting has become so cheap (in terms of the electricity bill and the longevity of the LED "bulbs") that few people care about turning off unused lights. This unfortunately also includes street lighting and lighting of public spots like supermarket public lots and similar.

And regarding the original topic I found this paper which I don't think has been referenced yet: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/ar...0718313636

"Paul Ehrlich" does not seem to be among the authors and even if, I wonder why that should be wrong if proper scientific methods were used. I must confess that initially I thought this was about another Paul Ehrlich (after which a street is named in most towns in this country...) because the American one is not very well known here. But reading the Wikipedia Article about him does not convince me that he is completeley wrong. Even if some of his predictions have not come true (yet) there is little doubt (to me) that they soon will.

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03-08-2019, 02:23 PM
Post: #24
RE: Plummeting insect numbers threaten collapse of nature
I think we're all ignoring the far bigger threat that this accelerated selection process will leave Earth overrun with human-resistant superbugs against whom our competition for territory will not be so one-sided.
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03-08-2019, 04:05 PM
Post: #25
RE: Plummeting insect numbers threaten collapse of nature
(03-08-2019 12:49 PM)Maximilian Hohmann Wrote:  Hello!

(03-08-2019 04:20 AM)Dan Wrote:  One look at the Earth at night shows how bad it has become:

To this topic I can contribute anectdotical evidence as well. I joined the local amateur astronomer group when I moved to "our" town (Tübingen) in southeastern Germany 19 years ago. I am part of the team which gives public talks at the local observatory and shows and explains the night sky to the public. Although I know my way around the constellations reasonably well and my eyesight is good enough to be allowed to fly transport category aeroplanes I (and my other teammates) have increasing difficulties to identify celestial objects. During the last years, even in many cloudless and seemingly dark nights only a handful of bright stars remain visible to the unaided eye, which makes it very difficult to find dim objects with the telescope.
As much as I welcome LED lighting for it's low power consumption, it is my impression that this is also the main culprit for the recent increase in light pollution. Lighting has become so cheap (in terms of the electricity bill and the longevity of the LED "bulbs") that few people care about turning off unused lights. This unfortunately also includes street lighting and lighting of public spots like supermarket public lots and similar.

Here!

[Image: light_pollution.png]

Greetings,
    Massimo

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03-11-2019, 10:30 AM (This post was last modified: 03-11-2019 10:32 AM by Dan.)
Post: #26
RE: Plummeting insect numbers threaten collapse of nature
(03-08-2019 12:49 PM)Maximilian Hohmann Wrote:  During the last years, even in many cloudless and seemingly dark nights only a handful of bright stars remain visible to the unaided eye, which makes it very difficult to find dim objects with the telescope.

I am reminded of an article in the December 1986 issue of "Astronomy" magazine about the 100-inch telescope of the Mount Wilson Observatory, which was used by Hubble to make many important discoveries and remained the largest telescope in the world for 3 decades. During World War 2, “because Los Angeles was under blackout in fear of Japanese air raids, the skies over Mount Wilson were free of light pollution that even then hampered the big telescope’s effectiveness.” The telescope “could not halt the expansion of the city that lay below the summit. The city of Los Angeles has grown nearly tenfold since 1917. During that expansion the city installed countless brilliant lights. Furthermore, automobile exhaust has filled the valley and contributes to that city’s infamous brown photochemical smog.” The telescope is now the world's largest telescope dedicated to public use.

I also remember reading in the 80’s about initiatives to curb light pollution, such as raising public awareness of the problem and using shields around streetlights to direct light downwards instead of into the sky, but it only seems to be getting worse, as you have pointed out.

Last night I went out a few hours before sunrise with my 11x80 binoculars and was confined to a small patch of my backyard to escape the street lights and lights from neighbouring houses. I live 40km from Melbourne and the Milky Way is still very impressive, and I can find brighter celestial objects such as the galaxy Centaurus A pretty easily, but not fainter ones, even with my 8-inch telescope. Australia’s population is relatively small (about 25 million) and concentrated around the coastal cities, but I still have to drive 2 or 3 hours to enjoy dark skies.

Are there no longer any dark sky sites in central Europe?
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03-11-2019, 10:41 AM
Post: #27
RE: Plummeting insect numbers threaten collapse of nature
(03-11-2019 10:30 AM)Dan Wrote:  Are there no longer any dark sky sites in central Europe?

Just have a look by yourself:
[Image: 2df631a6340809b5d9b94ae041db0914.png]

BTW: I do live in one of the brightest spots :(

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03-12-2019, 05:02 PM
Post: #28
RE: Plummeting insect numbers threaten collapse of nature
(03-11-2019 10:30 AM)Dan Wrote:  Are there no longer any dark sky sites in central Europe?

Central Europe is on too high latitude, above ~50° never has (dark (astronomical)) night on summer nights (from beginning of June to mid of July).

BTW, new "old" jobs appears on the horizon:
[Image: akg4789613.jpg]

Csaba
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