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Global modeling of nature’s contributions to people

Science (New York, N.Y.) | 12 Oct 2019

R Chaplin-Kramer, RP Sharp, C Weil, EM Bennett, U Pascual, KK Arkema, KA Brauman, BP Bryant, AD Guerry, NM Haddad, M Hamann, P Hamel, JA Johnson, L Mandle, HM Pereira, S Polasky, M Ruckelshaus, MR Shaw, JM Silver, AL Vogl and GC Daily
Abstract
The magnitude and pace of global change demand rapid assessment of nature and its contributions to people. We present a fine-scale global modeling of current status and future scenarios for several contributions: water quality regulation, coastal risk reduction, and crop pollination. We find that where people’s needs for nature are now greatest, nature’s ability to meet those needs is declining. Up to 5 billion people face higher water pollution and insufficient pollination for nutrition under future scenarios of land use and climate change, particularly in Africa and South Asia. Hundreds of millions of people face heightened coastal risk across Africa, Eurasia, and the Americas. Continued loss of nature poses severe threats, yet these can be reduced 3- to 10-fold under a sustainable development scenario.
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