Blog note. Jesus indicated that ‘fearful sights’ (various natural disasters) would occur leading up to the time known as the Tribulation and Great Tribulation (a combined seven year period of great destruction on earth). Although these types of things have occurred in the past for centuries and thousands of years, they could be identified as the ‘season of the times’ due to the ferociousness of these events. They would be occurring in greater intensity, severity, frequency, size, duration, scope … just like the pains that a woman experiences in labor the farther along she is in the labor process. We are in the ‘season of the times’ that comes just before the seven (7) year Tribulation/Great Tribulation period
… And great earthquakes shall be in diverse places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21:11).
… And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; (Luke 21:25)
… Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken; (Luke 21:26)
… This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2 Timothy 3:1)
Jesus is giving a series of prophecies about what to look for as the age of grace comes to a close. These verses are several of many such prophecies from throughout the Bible. 2017 was the worst year in recorded history for the intensity, frequency, severity, duration and occurrence of a large number of severe natural disasters worldwide. Earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, torrential flooding, unprecedented wildfires in unusual places, devastating droughts, excessive/scorching heat setting records everywhere, record snowfalls in Europe and Russia. Snow in the Arabia. This list can go on. Most studied Eschatologists believe these ‘fearful sights’ and massive natural disasters are all part of the ‘CONVERGENCE’ of signs that this Biblical and prophetic age is closing. Most people who study prophecy are familiar with the routine reference(s) made that these things will be like a woman having labor pains that occur in greater severity, frequency, size and duration prior to giving birth. End of note.
‘Almost certain extinction’: 1,200 species under severe threat across world. Scientists map out threats faced by thousands of species of birds, mammals and amphibians.
The Guardian. Tuesday. March 12, 2019.
More than 1,200 species globally face threats to their survival in more than 90% of their habitat and “will almost certainly face extinction” without conservation intervention, according to new research.
Scientists working with Australia’s University of Queensland and the Wildlife Conservation Society have mapped threats faced by 5,457 species of birds, mammals and amphibians to determine which parts of a species’ habitat range are most affected by known drivers of biodiversity loss.
The project is from the same team of researchers that found just five countries are responsible for 70% of the world’s remaining wilderness.
The new research, published in PLOS Biology, maps “hotspots” where species are most affected by threats such as agriculture, urbanisation, night lighting, roads, rail, waterways and population density, and “coolspots” that provide refuge from these threats.
The team looked only at threats that were known to affect a species within its habitat range and found that for the majority of wildlife studied, intrusions were “extensive” across most habitat, “severely limiting the area within which species can survive”.
They said most concerning was their finding that 1,237 species – nearly a quarter of the animals assessed – were affected by threats across more than 90% of their distribution.
The situation was worse for 395 species, or 7%, which were found to be affected by at least one relevant threat across their entire habitat range.
“These results are very alarming and that’s because the threats we’ve mapped are specific to the species,” said James Allan, a University of Queensland post-doctoral researcher and the study’s lead author.
“They’re the primary causes of the species’ decline and the reason they are threatened with extinction. Where a threat overlaps with a species, we know that species will continue to decline.”
Mammals were identified as the most affected group studied, with on average 52% of a species’ distribution degraded by threats.
One in three of the species studied were found to have no exposure to threats across their habitat range, but the researchers cautioned that this result “should be interpreted within the context of threats we consider”.
Two major threats they had not mapped were diseases affecting amphibians and climate change, which threatens all species.
Human impacts were found on species across 84% of the earth’s terrestrial surface.
The top five countries most affected by threats were all in south-east Asia. Malaysia was the most affected, followed by Brunei and Singapore.
The most affected biomes included mangroves, tropical and sub-tropical moist broadleaf forests in southern Brazil, Malaysia and Indonesia, and tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests of India, Myanmar and Thailand.
The countries with the greatest areas of “coolspots” or refuges from threats were also in south-east Asia, as well as the Amazon rainforest, parts of the Andes and Liberia in west Africa.
Allan said that in some cases, hotspots and coolspots were found side by side, which he attributed to the fact there was such a high diversity of species there.
“The obvious thing we need to do is protect the coolspots, the unimpacted areas of species ranges,” he said. “We need to stop threats getting into those areas.
“There’s room for optimism. Every threat that we mapped can be stopped through conservation effort.”