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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Earth has suffered irreversible damage

From Canada's CTV:
Humans are damaging the Earth at such an unprecedented rate that the strain on the planet may destroy about two-thirds of its ecosystem services, according to a landmark international study.

The consequences of humans' activities are severe and include: new diseases, sudden changes in water quality, creation of "dead zones" along the coasts, the collapse of fisheries, and shifts in regional climate, according to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Synthesis Report.

"At the heart of this assessment is a stark warning," said the 45-member board.

"Human activity is putting such strain on the natural functions of Earth that the ability of the planet's ecosystems to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted," it said.

The four-year, 2,500-page assessment was drawn up by 1,300 researchers from 95 nations in an effort to inform global policy initiatives.