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Global Change, Land use, Sustainability »

Wednesday, June 2, 2010 | 0 Comments

What happens when humans finally win the war with nature and end up in charge of ecology?  A question for the future?  Think again.  In “Peak Wood: Nature Does Impose Limits”, John Perlin describes what happens when human societies, starting in prehistory, have completely ... [More]

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Global Change, Land use, Methods, Sustainability »

Friday, December 18, 2009 | 0 Comments

With carbon, climate and COP 15 in the news, Google and Microsoft are now battling over carbon mindshare, introducing the latest web-based “Carbonware” designed to help combat carbon emissions and global warming.  These add to a growing list that includes the many “carbon foot... [More]

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Global Change, Land use, Sustainability »

Monday, December 14, 2009 | 1 Comments

"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 40% of Earth’s ice-free land to produce crops and livestock.&nbs...; [More]

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Ecosystems, Global Change, Land use, Methods »

Monday, October 26, 2009 | 0 Comments

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, carbon accounting has become a hot topic for scientists, politicians and economists.  While... [More]

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Global Change, Land use »

Friday, August 21, 2009 | 1 Comments

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 Ellis, 2009), we show that early farmers using fire likely cleared ... [More]

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Ecosystems, Global Change »

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 | 0 Comments

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 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Li et al. 2009).  By linking a careful investig... [More]

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Global Change, Land use »

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 | 0 Comments

When we change our landscapes, we change the clouds above and thereby climate - this from new evidence just published by Jingfeng Wang (Wang et al., 2009) and a team of researchers in Rafael Bras’s climate lab at MIT.  By observing cloud patterns and other climate parameters in defor... [More]

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Ecosystems, Global Change, Land use, Sustainability »

Friday, January 30, 2009 | 0 Comments

Are pristine rainforests the only ones that matter?  We know that forests do change as they age, developing some unique characteristics when mature, and that some species cannot live outside of large swaths of ancient tropical forests. But what about the rest of tropical forests- the... [More]