Matters of Scale - Biodiversity Factors

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Time it takes to grow 1 inch of soil
1,000 years
Time it has taken to erode and wash away one-third of the topsoil in the United States
40 years
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Number of fish caught by a single Norwegian boat in 1986
120 million
Number of people in Norway
4 million
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Kilograms of toxic chemicals that would be removed from the environment each year if U.S. homeowners reduced their use of pesticides by 10 percent
2 million
Kilograms of toxic chemicals that would be removed from the environment each year if U.S. manufacturing firms reduced their releases by 10 percent
700 million
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Number of black rhinos in Africa in the 1960s
100,000
Number of black rhinos in Africa now
2,500
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Number of pieces of live coral broken off from reefs (which are habitat to 1 million species) and purchased by Americans each year
350,000
Number of pieces purchased by the rest of the world each year
90,000
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Number of Boeing 747 airplanes that could fit on the ground in New York's Yankee Stadium
2
Number of Boeing 747s that could fit inside the largest size of trawl net used to catch ocean fish by commercial "factory ships"
12
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Sources: "Biodiversity 911: Saving Life on Earth," a traveling exhibit of the World Wildlife Fund, and Worldwatch Institute.