A Nature Guide for a Human Planet
What is Nature?
Are you imagining a place without people? If you did, that’s no surprise. Even in kindergarten many are taught to think of the global patterns of nature in terms of tropical rainforests, savannas, deserts, and other “natural” patterns of ecology – the biomes shaped by climate that were first recognized by Alexander von Humboldt more than two centuries ago.
The global patterns of climate still shape the biomes. But now, with rapid changes in climate, these patterns are on the move. And stay or move, most of life now goes on within the complex and heterogenous working landscapes that people live in, use, and shape – the anthromes – that now cover most land on the planet.
It is time to change your mind.
Begin with our brand new <guide to nature for a human planet>. For more than 12,000 years, people have shaped nature across most of Earth’s land. From hunter-gatherers to farmers to urban industrial societies, human populations and their use of land have transformed Earth’s ecology, reshaping the global patterns of biodiversity, habitats, carbon, and just the way life evolves in the Anthropocene. The true story of natural history is far more interesting and inspiring than that tired old trope of “people destroy nature”.
<Use the guide to anthromes> to better understand the human natures we’ve shaped across Earth. We’ve collected images to help, mapped the anthromes and their changes over time and put together some numbers about people, food, biodiversity and carbon. You can even explore the anthromes within different biomes and world regions.
This Earth day – and every day – let us come together to embrace, value, conserve, and restore the only nature we will ever have on this planet.
- Zoomable map of anthromes in Google Earth, with a slider (and play button!) to view anthromes over the past 12,000 years (10,000 BCE to 2017 CE).
- Educational Materials on anthromes, including powerpoint slides and lesson plans.
- Anthromes in the Media, as featured in National Geographic, Wired, Smithsonian magazine, etc.
- Our old guide to anthromes (now obsolete).