Anthroecology »

November 11, 2015 – 9:45 am

Why did behaviorally modern humans and no other multicellular species in the history of the Earth gain the capacity to transform an entire planet? Biology alone cannot explain this – Homo sapiens is just another …

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Articles tagged with: Holocene

What Time is it? Early Anthropocene @theAGU & Straw Poll

December 20, 2015 – 8:30 pm
GC14B_dating_anthropocene_session

It was a great week at the American Geophysical Union(AGU) Meeting in San Francisco, especially with the many sessions sponsored by IGBP – the international scientific program that brought you the Anthropocene– as part of …

A tale of two planets: The Anthropocene revisited

April 30, 2013 – 2:41 am
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Is the Anthropocene recent? Defined solely by the accelerating impacts of an industrial society that threatens the future of both humanity and the biosphere (Barnosky et al., 2012, Rockstrom et al., 2009)? A closer look at …

An early history of rice

July 26, 2010 – 11:35 am
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When did rice change the planet? Rice is the most important food crop on earth, feeding more than half of all humans. Most is produced in Asia in the flooded paddy systems that form the …

Looking Back at the Cradle in the Rear-view Mirror

October 6, 2009 – 9:56 am
Planetary Boundaries (1.0)

Are humans pushing earth systems towards environmental catastrophe? Or are we just worrying needlessly about the novel state of the earth that we have now created? Or both?
In a Nature Feature entitled “A safe operating …

Burning the biosphere before you were born

August 21, 2009 – 10:37 pm
ruddiman_Boserup_factor

Millennia before humans discovered coal, indeed, millennia before there was civilization, Homo sapiens had discovered fire and was making extensive use of it. In a study just published by Bill Ruddiman and myself (Ruddiman and …

Guns, forests and carbon

July 15, 2009 – 10:43 pm
Israeli_Forest_Fire_(2006)

Not only do humans burn away forests to enhance their food supply, they also do it when they battle each other! Or so says a study published by Zhen Li and his colleagues this week …

Rewriting the history of global climate change

June 29, 2009 – 8:23 pm
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For thousands of years, humans have been changing global climate, maybe even helping us avert the next ice age, all long before the Industrial Revolution. Interested? Then you should read Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum: How …

Guns, Germs and Carbon: post-Colombian pandemics drive global cooling

January 14, 2009 – 9:22 am
120px-SwiddenFire6

Diseases introduced by Europeans after 1492 are now known to have caused massive population declines in the Americas, and the failure of ancient agricultural systems across huge regions, many of which depended on the regular …

Pushing back the Anthropocene at the AGU

December 25, 2008 – 5:06 pm
Pokhara_nepal_valley_1999_web

The Early Anthropocene Hypothesis holds that human alteration of climate began with forest clearing and rice production more than 6 thousand years ago. Here are my personal impressions of recent work supporting this hypothesis, from …