Biodiversity and climate : The silence of the bees

 

The biodiversity on the planet records 6 000 plants, 40 000 invertebrates and 1 000 vertebrates. This rich biodiversity has been living on Earth for millenniums but for the last 150 years, climate change caused by human activities has been a huge threat for biodiversity.

According to Mark Urban, the author of a survey on biodiversity , “the most surprising is that the risk of extinction not only increased with rising temperatures but also accelerates”. In a +2°C scenario, 5.2% of the world species would be threatened. With +3°C, 8.5% of the biodiversity is endangered. But each region, each species is different. In hot regions, biodiversity loss could be up to 10% whereas in polar areas, biodiversity could increase up to 300%. According to the IPCC, 80% of the species have already been impacted by climate change. If we are currently able to know what will be the consequences of +2°C rise of temperatures, it is far more difficult to anticipate the consequences of a more important temperatures rise, making it harder to implement efficient biodiversity protection policies.

Since the first eras of agriculture, 10 000 vegetal species have been grown by humans. Currently, not more than 150 of them are commonly grown. According to the last Living Planet Report, there has been an average loss by 52% of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles populations compared to 1970. It matters deeply because genetic biodiversity is the reason why so many species including human beings have been able to survive and to become more resilient.
The current “colony collapse disorder” is a symbol of this phenomenon. 42% of bees’ colonies in the United States have disappeared. According to Britannic review The Lancet, this pollinators decline could lead to a rise of global human mortality by 3%. This is why our fate is inextricably linked to biodiversity.