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New horizon: what we can expect as nature changes


Artificial life forms, robots that mimic natural processes, and even people who spend all day in front of the computer and rarely experience the real outdoors, may all fundamentally affect the quality of nature in Britain over the next 45 years.

According to 35 environmental scientists, drawn from the government as well as colleges and charities, a host of new threats and opportunities for UK biodiversity is gathering pace as technologies develop, social habits alter and the possibility of large-scale responses to phenomena like climate change grows.

The scientists have drawn up a list of 25 factors, including the rising demand for food and biofuels, thought to be having an immediate effect. These, say the scientists, are already putting worse pressure on the habitats of birds and mammals.

Others factors, such as sea-level rise, extra fire risk and extreme weather events, are looming with climate change.

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