Credit: van Klink et al., Science [2020]

A comprehensive new assessment of insect diversity finds that while the overall population of land-dwelling insects has fallen by more than a quarter over the past 30 years, some species are increasing in numbers.

Why it matters: A raft of studies in recent years have raised alarms about an "insect apocalypse." The new assessment offers some room for hope, while making it clear that insects and arachnid populations are still under tremendous pressure.

The new meta-analysis, published in this week's Science, examined 166 long-term surveys of land-dwelling and freshwater insect populations across the globe.

  • Insects that live on land are struggling, declining by an average of 9% a decade, likely due in part to the spread of human populations. That's still a smaller decline than many earlier studies had found.
  • Freshwater insect populations appear to be increasing by an average of 11% per decade, which may be due to successful efforts to clean up rivers and lakes.
  • Insect declines are worse in North America, and especially the Midwest, but appear to be leveling off.
"Insect populations are like logs of wood that are pushed under water. They want to come up, while we keep pushing them farther down. But we can reduce the pressure so they can rise again."
— Roel van Klink, lead researcher on the Science study, to CNN

The bottom line: Insects are an invaluable part of the Earth's ecosystem and food web. Their future is tied into ours — and vice versa.

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Updated 43 mins ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

France reported more than 2,500 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours — the largest single-day number since May. French officials said the situation was "clearly worsening," per France 24.

By the numbers: Over 745,600 people have died of the novel coronavirus globally and over 20.4 million have tested positive, per Johns Hopkins. Almost 12.7 million have recovered from the virus.

Biden campaign raises $26 million in 24 hours after announcing Harris as running mate

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign announced on Wednesday that it raised $26 million in the 24 hours after revealing Sen. Kamala Harris as his vice presidential pick.

Why it matters: The cash influx signals that Harris has helped the Democratic presidential campaign pick up steam. Nearly 150,000 contributors were first-time donors, according to the campaign statement.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 20,456,016 — Total deaths: 745,600— Total recoveries: 12,663,206Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 5,190,948 — Total deaths: 165,883 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
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  4. Business: U.S. already feeling effects of ending unemployment benefits.
  5. Public health: America's two-sided COVID-19 response America is flying blind on its coronavirus response.
  6. Education: New Jersey governor allows schools to reopenGallup: America's confidence in public school system jumps to highest level since 2004.