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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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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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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 »

Sunday, March 1, 2009 | 2 Comments

While you are driving to work, plume of carbon drifting lazily into the sky, do you ever wonder where all of your carbon will end up?  Now, work by Simon Lewis and a large team of collaborators (Lewis et al 2009) have shown that about 1/6th of the carbon emitted annually to the atmosphere ... [More]