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Anthromes, Global Change, Land use »

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 | 1 Comments

A new global “accessibility” map further demonstrates that humans now have easy access to almost all of Earth’s land.  Using global data for roads and other transportation systems, researchers at the European Commission and the World Bank developed a map of access time, in min... [More]

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Ecosystems, Global Change »

Monday, January 19, 2009 | 0 Comments

The Biosphere is home to all life on Earth.  Now that we humans are living in and/or using almost all of it, the future of the biosphere is in our hands.  Keeping human influence out of the biosphere is no longer a relevant conservation strategy.  At this point in history, the only ... [More]

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Global Change, Sustainability »

Friday, January 16, 2009 | 0 Comments

What is the best way to reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere?   We all know that reducing global warming will require reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.  But there are so many ways to do this- by reducing our energy use (driving a fuel efficient&... [More]

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Ecosystems, Land use »

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 | 0 Comments

Conservation of biodiversity requires the conservation of habitat, and for a long time, this has meant preserving the largest possible "pristine" habitats and excluding humans.  Now that humans have fragmented most of earth's landscapes into mosaics that combine cro... [More]

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Ecosystems, Land use »

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 | 3 Comments

Humans have been using fire since prehistory- indeed, it is one of our defining characteristics -distinguishing us from all other species. There is little doubt that burning of forests to attract game and later, to clear land for agriculture have had long-term global impacts on climate and... [More]

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Ecosystems, Land use »

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 | 4 Comments

An interesting new historical study of forest cover change in China from 1700 to present reveals that up to the 1960s, deforestation prevailed, while since the 1960s, forests have been recovering. Read the paper by Fanneng He et al., in the (Chinese) Journal of Geographical Sciences, here (may ... [More]

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Anthromes, Global Change, Land use »

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 | 1 Comments

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 burning of forests.  Now, researchers, led by Richard Nevle and ... [More]

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Global Change, Land use, Sustainability »

Tuesday, December 30, 2008 | 0 Comments

China's explosive economic growth has awed the world, and is now felt in every corner of the Earth.  As a result, earth systems are being changed at unprecedented rates, while bringing more people into a modern lifestyle than ever before. While we normally perceive these changes in te... [More]