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By 2100 all of Earth's wilderness is expected to disappear

Daksha Rangan
Digital Reporter

Monday, September 26, 2016, 3:43 PM - Raw wilderness is looking to be a thing of the past by the year 2100.

In a study published in the journal Current Biology, scientists find that there's about 100 years to go until humans have disturbed or destroyed roughly every large remaining area of natural wilderness in the world.

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Their findings are based on the "staggering and very saddening" amount of "wild land" destroyed in the past two decades. One tenth of Earth's wilderness land -- totaling an area half the size of the expansive Amazon basin -- has been wiped away over the course of just 20 years.

It's estimated that 3.3 million square kilometres has been destroyed since the early 1990s, the Independent reports, totalling a 9.6 per cent drop between then and now.

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If this alarming trend continues, researchers say, 100 years from now there will be no substantial areas that are mostly free of human disturbance.

At present, Canada falls under the few key places on earth that are still home to vast wilderness.

File photo of Lake Louise, Alberta.

File photo of Lake Louise, Alberta.

The Sahara, Russia's northern tundras, the Amazon basin, and outback Australia are also home to the last chunks of wild land left.

Factors that contribute to the worrisome rate of human encroachment include illegal logging, slash-and-burn, mining, and oil excavation.

The areas that have seen the biggest decline since the 1990s include the Amazon, west Africa, Indonesia, and Russia.

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SOURCES: Current Biology | Independent

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