/ 03 June 2021

Race to find our known unknowns

The Australian Academy of Science yesterday proposed a mammoth project: documenting 500,000 undiscovered Aussie plants and animals before they are lost to climate change. Oz is thought to be home to 750,000 different plants, animals, and insects, but most haven’t been discovered or documented. The Academy says the task will cost $824 million – but it crunched the numbers and says it could deliver up to almost $30 billion in economic returns over the next 25 years via advances in medicine, biosecurity and farming. As for more well-known species, a new World Wildlife Fund report warns the likes of penguins and some turtles may face extinction if the world warms beyond 1.5C. The kicker: they say Arabica coffee beans are also at risk…

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