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 terms of rapid urbanization and industrialization, China’s ancient rural landscapes are also being […]
China’s Yangtze Delta (also known as the Tai Lake Region) is home to some of the world’s most ancient anthropogenic landscapes. Rice was likely domesticated here 8,500 years ago, and the region’s nickname “land of fish and rice” sums up it’s long history of highly productive agriculture. Indeed, the region has long been a poster child for sustainable traditional agriculture […]
The Early Anthropocene Hypothesis holds that human alteration of climate began with forest clearing and rice production more than 6 thousand years ago. Here are my personal impressions of recent work supporting this hypothesis, from last week’s annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco (a conference of 15,000- so big its like Woodstock for Earth scientists). […]
A couple weeks ago, I was invited by UMBC to provide a new year’s message to the world, in 100 words, prefaced with “In 2009, the world should resolve to…” Here is the video version of my new year’s message: And here are the 100 words: “In 2009, the world should resolve to think globally before acting. Poverty, global warming, […]
Biofuels started off with such good intentions – energy self-sufficiency, reversing global warming and being green. Yet biofuels are now being blamed for creating much bigger problems than they ever would have solved. How did we get so far into this mess without seeing these problems? Multiple studies have now shown that producing liquid fuels from food crops and even […]
by Erica Antill At the end of August, my graduate adviser, Erle Ellis, was invited to a joint US-German conference in Berlin, Germany: Tough Choices: Land Use under a Changing Climate. (http://www.nkgcf.org/usg08) The NSF, which funded the US side, encouraged the “senior scientists” who were attending to invite a “young scientist” to come along, in the spirit of encouraging future […]
At last! After nearly one year online, my paper with Navin Ramankutty introducing Anthropogenic Biomes (Anthromes), is now in print in the October issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Even better, it is on the cover! The paper can be viewed online (with permission) at the Frontiers in Ecology web site: esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/070062 And downloaded for free, here: ecotope.org/people/ellis/papers/ellis_2008.pdf […]
We live in interesting times. We’ve now realized that our activities are changing global climate and thereby harming both ourselves and the rest of the biosphere. And we are begining to do something about it. International efforts are assessing and attempting to manage our climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions and many institutions and even individuals are taking action to become “carbon […]
Here is an interview about my work with anthropogenic biomes and opinions about sustainable management of the environment: http://knowledge.allianz.com/search.cfm?156/the-environmental-impact-of-population-growth The reporter, Thilo Kunzemann, of Allianz Knowledge, did a great job by asking me some hard questions- they were fun to answer- but I hope my answers won’t seem overconfident in the next 50 years!
Welcome to our new blogging site for the Laboratory for Anthropogenic Landscape Ecology! This site will give members of our lab a forum for discussing the nature we humans have created on our planet, and the tools we need to observe, model, and manage our new human nature.