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: land use change

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 …

Saved! by Ester Boserup

January 11, 2011 – 3:52 pm
boserup_was_right_regular

Human populations grow until they overshoot their carrying capacity and collapse. Game over. Thank you Malthus! (1798; and Ehrlich 1968).
Not so fast! There’s something wrong with this story: it almost never happens. Human populations do …

Think like a farmer

August 31, 2010 – 9:02 am
Rice_Field

by Nick Magliocca

“Farming is hard work, so why do more of it?” That is what many early farmers were probably thinking when deciding between fuller bellies or keeping their long off-seasons of leisure time– at …

The Biosphere we created: 1700 to 2000

August 5, 2010 – 10:41 am
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“So how did the biosphere become anthropogenic anyway?” asked an astute audience member at my 2007 AGU presentation (powerpoint). I had just given a presentation on my work with Navin Ramankutty demonstrating that human populations …

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 …

China’s villages are changing the world

January 8, 2010 – 8:35 pm
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If you still think of rural China as remote, traditional, and unchanged for millennia, think again. China’s ancient village landscapes are among the most dynamic and densely populated on Earth, with a global extent more …

Inconvenient food for thought

December 14, 2009 – 8:35 pm
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“How do we feed a growing world without destroying the planet?” asks Jon Foley’s new 3 minute video (see below).
It’s a great question. To get enough food for our existing billions, we already use about …

Tools for the Carbon Economy

October 26, 2009 – 5:01 pm
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By Jonathan Dandois
Will the census of the future ask homeowners how many trees they have on their property?
With humanity now faced with a changing climate under even the most stringent efforts to reduce carbon emissions, …

Burning the biosphere before you were born

August 21, 2009 – 10:37 pm
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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 …