NEW YORK—According to an alarming report released Friday by the United Nations, nearly 40 million acres of personal space were lost around the world in 2015, with data showing these vitally important yet extremely vulnerable regions are being wiped out at the fastest rate on record. “During the last calendar year, the steady encroachment of humans led to a reduction in personal space of about eight percent worldwide, which works out to a loss of more than a square foot for every man, woman, and child on earth,” said the report’s lead author, Irene Anderson, who noted that personal space has shrunk by more than half since the mid-1900s. “We must act quickly and decisively to protect our current personal boundaries if there’s any hope of preserving what little personal space we still have left. If we do not drastically change our behavior, it’s very possible that future generations might grow up in a world where a comfortable buffer zone between them and others simply doesn’t exist.” The U.N. report warned that the worldwide loss of personal space was rapidly approaching a critical tipping point, placing the global population at extreme risk of catastrophic crowding and jostling.