Earth Lost 10 Percent of Wilderness in 20 Years Because of Humans

In just 20 years, humans have destroyed 10 percent of Earth's wilderness, says study.

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It only took 20 years for humanity to destroy 10 percent of the Earth's wilderness, a study published in Current Biology revealed. That's 1.27 million square miles, or an area as big as one third of the U.S.

James Watson, director of science and research at the Wildlife Conservation Society and associate professor fellow at Australia's University of Queensland, led the study, reportedThe Huffington Post. For the study, the group took maps from the early '90s and compared the wilderness areas there to wilderness areas of present day maps. They concluded that in the last 20 years, South America's Amazon forest has lost 30 percent of its wilderness while Central Africa has lost 14 percent.

"I consider it like a species extinction," Watson told The Huffington Post. "When the last individual of a population of a species disappears, that’s extinction. That's profoundly sad. Loss of wilderness is the same thing―you can't get it back. It will come back as something else, but you are losing a system that has evolved for millions of years."

According to the study, only 23 percent of wilderness remains worldwide, and that little bit may cease to exist by 2050.

More proof that we're killing the Earth lies in the fact 93 percent of the Great Barrier Reef has suffered from coral bleaching which is caused in part by global warming. Speaking of global warming, the Earth broke the record for hottest year ever for the ninth consecutive year.

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