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Human activity in the 19th through 22nd centuries led to the catastrophic decline and wholesale collapse of the natural world. Of the approximately 30 million known species of flora and fauna, more than 90% were lost as a result of pollution, climate change, deforestation, mining, agriculture, urban sprawl, overfishing and hunting.
Extinctions on this scale had occurred only five times previously in the whole of Earth's 3 billion year natural history.
Various wars, terrorist nuclear attacks, industrial accidents and nanotechnology experiments also played a role in making large tracts of the world essentially lifeless.
Permanent damage was done to countless habitats. The Amazon rainforest - perhaps the most egregious example - shrank to become mostly savannah by the 22nd century. Meanwhile, ocean acidification caused by rising CO2 levels resulted in the total decimation of coral reefs. The Arctic became devoid of ice during summer months, while melting in Greenland, Iceland, West Antarctica and elsewhere led to sea level rises of nearly two metres by 2150.
All of this occurred despite an in-depth scientific knowledge of the processes underway. Long term sustainability and sensible management of resources were sacrificed in favour of short term profits, political influence and personal gain. By the time most governments began to enact serious measures, it was already too late.
Biodiversity fell away to such an extent that - for those born during the late 20th century - the planet became almost unrecognisable. Younger generations growing up in this new world found themselves bitterly resentful at what their predecessors had allowed to happen. Many in Asia, Africa and South America would never get to experience a real forest, or come face to face with animals larger than a domestic dog, or witness the range of colourful and exotic species that were commonplace before - except in zoos or virtual reality simulations.
Climate change and its effects on the water reservoirs around the planet was a major trigger of armed conflicts during the decades of 2040's and 2050's, including the Third World War.
By 2050 only 39% of original forest still standing and 27% of farmland was destroyed (either by flooding or desertification).
By 2070, only small animals (rats, arthropods, wolfs, antelopes, etc) survived in the wild and the large extensions of forests were things of the past, only green pockets survived all along the desertified equator, ice on the arctic disappeared even during winter.
By 2110 the average global temperatures had had increased by 4ºC.
It is estimated that by 2100 more than 200 million people died from events caused directly by Climate Change, including floods, droughts, diseases, famines, and war.