21 Sep '11, 11am

Ask todays UNEP expert- Tunza Ambassador Kevin Ochieng, how youth can contribute to a #GreenEconomy

Thank you for your question. Yes, I was a part of this study. Validating the accuracy of an estimate of the number of species on Earth is difficult - if we knew the number well, we would not need to make such a prediction. One approach that we took was to apply our method to some well-known groups (such as mammals and birds), and we got good predictions for these taxa, giving us more confidence in the robustness of our results. Another important aspect was that we included a 'standard error' of 1.3 million to formally acknowledge the uncertainty associated with this estimate. Ultimately, without counting every species on earth, we cannot be sure about exactly how many there are, especially because (as you indicate) some species will be go extinct while we do the counting. However, techniques such as those above help to assess the robustness of the approach, and to provide ...

Full article: http://www.unep.org/experts/?l=en

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