Sharing the Planet: Humanity’s Greatest Challenge

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Lecture by Sir Mark Walport at the Natural History Museum Annual Science Lecture on 2 December 2013.

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  • Ok I was just providing feedback. Thanks for making Sir Mark;s lecture and Q&A available. While the sound volume did increase, it is still very low.

    I had to come back to the Q&A, but found I could not scroll into the Q&A. It seems scrolling is only available to the next slide and of course there is only one slide covering Q&A
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  • Sorry about the sound at the start of the presentation. It improves once Mark starts speaking.
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  • Sound level very low
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Sharing the Planet: Humanity’s Greatest Challenge

  1. 1. Annual Science Lecture Sharing the Planet: Humanity’s Greatest Challenge Sir Mark Walport Introduction: Dr Michael Dixon, Director, Natural History Museum
  2. 2. The Diversity of Life 2 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  3. 3. Sharing Our Genome: One Genetic Family Credit: www.evogeneao.com 3 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  4. 4. Genetic Conservation Between Species 1 difference per 1000 base pairs between people Person 1 Person 2 Credit: Dee'lite/CC-BY-2.0 2 differences per 100 base pairs between people and chimps Person 1 Chimp Credit: Eric Isselee/Shutterstock 40 differences per 100 base pairs between people and mice Person 1 Mouse Credit: Getty Small regions of similarity between people and nematode worms Credit: Erik Jorgensen, University of Utah Person 1 Worm The regions that code for proteins are most similar 4 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  5. 5. Sharing Our Environment Credit: Ian Usher/CC-BY-SA-3.0 5 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  6. 6. Generating Our Atmosphere Credit: Natural History Museum • • • Credit: Natural History Museum 6 Photosynthesis began 2.5 billion years ago Cyanobacteria were first to evolve the capability Carboniferous forests evolved ~ 300 m years ago Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  7. 7. Credit:Sufosys Biotec Credit: Brocken Inaglory/CC-BY-SA-3.0 7 Sulfolobus acidocaldarius Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  8. 8. Red Beds 10 1 1 0.1 Oxygen 0.1 Carbon Dioxide 0.01 CO2 concentration (%) PD Oxygen concentration (%) Inheriting Our Atmosphere Credit: Natural History Museum Banded Iron Formations 8 2.5 2.0 1.5 1.0 0.5 Time (billion years before present) Credit: Andrew Watson, University of Exeter Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  9. 9. Inheriting Our Energy PD Credit: Meredithw/CC-BY-SA-3.0 9 Credit: Agencia Brasil/CC-BY-SA-3.0-BR Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  10. 10. Credit: Jack Versloot/CC-BY-2.0
  11. 11. Our Relationship with Other Species Credit: British Museum 11 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  12. 12. Classifying the World Credit: Natural History Museum •Wealthy and popular physician •Amassed one of the greatest collections of plants and animals of his time. •Oldest Collection in the Natural History Museum Credit: Natural History Museum Specimens from the Carolinas Preserved in Sir Hans Sloane’s collection 12 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  13. 13. Ordering the Natural World: Taxonomy PD Credit: University of Otago, New Zealand Carl Linnaeus 18th Century Swedish Botanist Leaf Forms from Linnaeus’s Systema Naturæ 13 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  14. 14. Causing Extinction 1598-1662 Credit: Natural History Museum 14 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  15. 15. Discovering the Extinct Credit: Natural History Museum Mary Anning 19th Century British Palaeontologist Credit: N Natural History Museum Fossil of Plesiosaurus macrocephalus One of Mary Anning’s discoveries 15 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  16. 16. Genomic Taxonomy: The Next Tool Box Chrysomeloidea Cucujoidea Curculionoidea Tenebrionoidea Cerylonid Series Beetles from canopy flogging in Borneo Cupedidae Cleroidea Carabidae: Harpalinae Elateroidea Buprestidae Staphylinidae Byrrhoidea 16 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  17. 17. Discovering the Invisible Louis Pasteur 19th Century French chemist and microbiologist PD S. cerevisiae 17 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  18. 18. Sharing our Body • There are 10 times more bacterial cells your intestines than there are cells in your entire body (100 trillion)! • This weighs about 1 kg. Credit: Dr David Phillips/Getty Images Clostridium bacteria has been linked to gut ailments •Sensitive to antibiotics, diet and surgery. 18 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  19. 19. The Yak Microbiome Methane Methanogens Methanobrevibacter Reduce carbon content CO2, H2 Carbohydrates Protozoa Isotricha intestinalis Metabolise plant material Plant Material Pectin-Fermenting Bacteria Bacteroides ruminicola Breaks down carbohydrates Credit: Pongratz/CC-BY-SA-3.0 19 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  20. 20. Our Deadliest Rivals Cholera Vibrio cholerae Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum Influenza A virus Orthomyxoviridae 20 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  21. 21. Jumping Species PATHOGEN ORIGINAL HOST YEAR REPORTED Ebola virus Bats 1977 Escherichia coli O157:H7 Borrelia burgdorferi Cattle 1982 Rodents 1982 SIV/HIV-1 Primates 1983 SIV/HIV-2 Primates 1986 Hendra virus Bats 1994 BSE/vCJD Cattle 1996 Australian bat lyssavirus Bats 1996 H5N1 influenza A Chickens 1997 Nipah virus Bats 1999 SARS coronavirus Palm civets 2003 21 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  22. 22. Our Dance with Infectious Organisms Credit: josullivan.59/CC-BY-2.0 22 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  23. 23. Our Dance with Infectious Organisms: Spread of SARS 23 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  24. 24. Moving Species Around Credit: Matthieu Aubry/CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 Credit: Guillaume Baviere 24 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  25. 25. For Food, Biocontrol and Aesthetics Credit: Andreia Isleb Credit: AFP Rob Elliott Credit: SMcGarnigle/CC-BY-2.0 Credit: Guillaume Baviere 25 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  26. 26. Aesthetics: Hydrangea in the Azores Credit: Guillaume Baviere 26 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  27. 27. Food and Resources: Rabbits in Australia PD 27 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  28. 28. Then Biocontrol: Introduction of Myxoma Virus PD 28 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  29. 29. The Globalisation of Food Crops Grape, Rye Sugar beet Alfalfa Apple Soybean Lettuce Almond Sunflower Strawberry Corn, dry bean, tom ato Rice Orange Cotton Onion Dry bean Barley, Wheat Tobacco Potato Sorghum Peanut Strawberry 29 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet Sugarcane
  30. 30. Modifying Species: Diversify and Enhance Wild mustard plant (Brassica oleracea) Strain Kohlrabi Kale Broccoli Brussels sprouts Cabbage Cauliflower Modified trait Stem Leaves Flower buds and stem Lateral leaf buds Terminal leaf bud Flower buds 30 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  31. 31. Diversify and Enhance: Dogs Grey Wolf Herding Dogs: e.g. Border Collie Pets: e.g. Corgi Gun Dogs: e.g. English Pointer Pets: e.g. Poodle 31 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  32. 32. Modifying the Environment Regular Fire Use Complex Stone Tools Agriculture The Practical Steam Engine Pasture and Plough arrive in UK Domestication of Fruits 0.2 0.1 100 1 million years ago 1000 100,000 years ago Human Occupation of New Environmental Zones 10000 10,000 years ago 100000 1000000 10000000 1,000 years ago 100 years ago Future Today Cities & the built environment emerge England and Wales deforested 90%  17% Unequivocal Anthropogenic Warming 32 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  33. 33. Subsistence Farming Credit: Bombadier, flickr Credit: Bombadier/CC-BY-2.0 33 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  34. 34. The African Diaspora 34 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  35. 35. Intensive Farming Credit: USDA 35 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  36. 36. Our Hunger for Resources: Cows and Badgers 36 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  37. 37. Our Hunger for Resources: Competing with Pests Credit: kohlmann.sascha/CC-BY-SA-2.0 Credit: Jeff Kubina Credit: iStockphoto 37 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  38. 38. Our Hunger for Resources: Collaborating with Bees Credits: orangeaurochs, kirstyhall, Gudlyf, somebox and hankinsphoto.com 38 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  39. 39. Credit: Mark Walport 39 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  40. 40. Our Hunger for Resources: Disappearing Ecosystems 40 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  41. 41. Moynaq, The Aral Sea Credit: Arian Zwegers/CC-BY-2.0 41 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  42. 42. Agricultural Chemical Addiction: Coral Bleaching and Algal Blooms Credit: USFWF Pacific 42 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  43. 43. Deforestation of Europe Evidence From • Domesday Book • Soil Record • Climate Modelling England and Wales deforested 90%  17% tree cover Source: Kaplin 2009 43 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  44. 44. The Pace of Change Picks up: Industrialisation Credit: Leonard Bentley 44 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  45. 45. Our Driver: Exponential Growth World Population (Millions) 8000 7000 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 -2000 -1000 0 1000 2000 Year 45 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  46. 46. The Atmosphere Catches Up Credit: IPCC Credit: NOAA 46 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  47. 47. Climate Disruption, not Climate Change Source: Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (2013) 47 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  48. 48. A Stitch in Time: Enlightenment 2.0 Some we can’t Some we can do something about Credit: James Cridland/CC-BY-2.0 Credit: Wikimedia Commons Credit: Nick carson/CC-BY-SA-3.0 Credit: PD Credit: Eneas/CC-BY-2.0 48 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  49. 49. Climate policy responses… Mitigate Credit: Harvey McDaniel Adapt Credit: Ian Britton/CC-BY-NC-ND-3.0 Suffer Credit: Reuters 49 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  50. 50. The Push of Population Source: Population Reference Bureau 2009 Credit: Julien Harneis/CC-BY-SA-2.0 50 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  51. 51. The Solutions are Technological Mitigate: Population Growth Credit: Bryancalabro/CC-BY-SA-3.0 51 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  52. 52. The Solutions are Technological – Diverse Energy Sources Credit: Bidgee/CC-BY-SA-2.0 Credit: Bellona CC BY-SA 2.0 - Russ Ferriday Credit: Russ Ferriday/CC-BY-SA-2.0 Credit: hddod/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 52 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  53. 53. Some of the Solutions are Technological – Reduce Energy Demand Credit: Pieter van Marion/CC-BY-SA 2.0 Credit: Ian Britton/CC-BY-NC 2.0 Credit: Ludovic Hirlimann 53 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  54. 54. The Solutions are Technological Adapt: Water Shortages New Sanitation Value Chain Credit: http://www.wsup.com/sharing/PracticeNote8.htm 54 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  55. 55. The Solutions are Technological – Adapt: Transgenic Tailoring Selective Breeding Biotechnology • Millions of gene changes • Small amount of genetic material • Chromosome doubling • Accurately determined location • Extensive chromosome rearrangement/deletion • Took >7,500 years • Consequences rapidly tested Means that these are highly “Genetically Modified” Means that these are slightly “Genetically Modified” Considered safe to eat. Food safety doubted. Credit: Jill Farrant, University of Cape Town Teosinte Zea mays 55 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  56. 56. Credit: Mark Walport Minsmere, December 2013 56 Natural History Museum: Annual Science Lecture, Sharing the Planet
  57. 57. @uksciencechief www.bis.gov.uk/go-science Every effort has been made to trace copyright holders and to obtain their permission for the use of copyright material. We apologise for any errors or omissions in the included attributions and would be grateful if notified of any corrections that should be incorporated in future versions of this slide set. We can be contacted through enquiries@bis.gsi.gov.uk .
  58. 58. Questions

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