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Land use »

[31 Aug 2010 | 0 Comments]

"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 least from the perspective of Ester Boserup. Since its 1965 release, Ester Boserup's seminal study ... [More]

Anthromes, Global Change, Land use »

[5 Aug 2010 | 0 Comments]

"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 and their use of land have reshaped most of the terrest... [More]

Anthromes, Global Change, Land use, Sustainability »

[26 Jul 2010 | 0 Comments]

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 core of the most intensively-managed of all ancient agricultural anthromes, the rice villages, where i... [More]

Global Change, Land use »

[8 Jan 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 ... [More]

Global Change, Land use, Sustainability »

[14 Dec 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.&nb...; [More]

Ecosystems, Global Change, Land use, Methods »

[26 Oct 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]

Global Change, Land use »

[21 Aug 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]

Anthromes, Ecosystems, Featured, Global Change, Land use, Sustainability »

[23 Jul 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... [More]