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Tell your friends about Earth on Edge. Send them a cyber-greeting by entering your message and e-mail information below, and choosing an Eco-Fact to share.

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50% of the world's forests have been cleared. By 2050, demand for wood for fuel and lumber could double.

55% of all grasslands are susceptible to drought, and one-fifth of those are now degraded by human activity.

40% of the world's population suffer serious water shortages, and water scarcity is expected to grow dramatically in the next decades.

75% of the world's major marine fisheries are already depleted or are being fished at their limit. Fish and shellfish provide the primary source of protein for about 1 billion people (one-sixth of the population).

The world's freshwater wetlands, some of the most productive ecosystems, have been reduced by as much as 50% worldwide in the last century, as land was converted to agriculture or urban areas, or filled to combat diseases such as malaria.

Demand for rice, wheat, and maize is expected to grow 40% by 2020, pushing water demand for irrigation up 50% or more. Water quality is diminished by irrigated and rainfed agriculture as leaching fertilizers, pesticides, and manure pollute the water downstream.

Nearly 60% of coral reefs are at risk from destructive fishing practices, tourist pressures, and pollution. Reefs may support as many as a million different plant and animal species, making them some of the world's richest ecosystems.

Almost 60% of the world's largest 227 rivers have been strongly or moderately fragmented by dams, diversions, or canals.

Global temperatures have already risen by 1.1 degrees Farenheit over the last 100 years.

Since 1980, the world's population has grown 30% to 6 billion and demographers expect the population to grow to 9 billion in the next 50 years.

These Eco-Facts are adapted from the companion book, World Resources 2000-2001.

For comprehensive data about the world's agroecosystems, visit EarthTrends at

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