Car ‘Splatometer’ Tests Reveal Huge Decline In Number of Insects



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Car ‘Splatometer’ Tests Reveal Huge Decline In Number of Insects



from the insect-apocalypse dept.

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Two scientific studies of the number of insects splattered by cars have revealed a huge decline in abundance at European sites in two decades. The survey of insects hitting car windscreens in rural Denmark used data collected every summer from 1997 to 2017 and found an 80% decline in abundance. It also found a parallel decline in the number of swallows and martins, birds that live on insects.

The second survey, in the UK county of Kent in 2019, examined splats in a grid placed over car registration plates, known as a “splatometer.” This revealed 50% fewer impacts than in 2004. The research included vintage cars up to 70 years old to see if their less aerodynamic shape meant they killed more bugs, but it found that modern cars actually hit slightly more insects. […] The stream research, published in the journal Conservation Biology, analyzed weekly data from 1969 to 2010 on a stream in a German nature reserve, where the only major human impact is climate change. “Overall, water temperature increased by 1.88C and discharge patterns changed significantly. These changes were accompanied by an 81.6% decline in insect abundance,” the scientists reported. “Our results indicate that climate change has already altered [wildlife] communities severely, even in protected areas.”

Serving coffee on aircraft causes turbulence.


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