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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 »

Friday, January 8, 2010 | 0 Comments

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 than twice that all of Earth’s cities combined (2.5 million km... [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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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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Anthromes, Ecosystems, Global Change, Land use, Sustainability »

Thursday, July 23, 2009 | 1 Comments

Should we conserve nature even if it is not wild?  Humans have transformed 40% of earth’s ice-free land into crop fields, pastures and settlements, and have embedded another 37% within used and populated landscapes (anthromes).  While 23% is still free of people and their u... [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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Ecosystems »

Friday, March 13, 2009 | 3 Comments

The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has recently released the first comprehensive digital map of wetlands across China, based on remote sensing imagery.  The effort was led by PengGong, of CAS Institute of Remote Sensing Applications in Beijing and University of California, Berkeley.  We... [More]