Mapping the Anthropocene

A new article up over at the Breakthrough Institute on Mapping the Anthropocene. It is by Erle Ellis, Navin Ramankutty and Chad Monfreda. It is certainly worth a read, and don’t be misled by the subtitle “Visualizing How Humans Are Embedded in Nature” – especially if you don’t think there is a “Nature” for humans to be embedded into.

 

Here’s the intro and some quick samples: India_grain

“Any ecology student could tell you what biomes are: vegetation types, such as grasslands and tropical rainforests, that ecologists use to map the planet. But there’s a problem. Biomes exist only at the discretion of nearly 7 billion people trying to live their lives on a crowded planet.

Invert that ancient image of invasive humans chopping away at the edges of a pristine nature. The era has long since moved from the Holocene to the Anthropocene. Nature is now embedded within a matrix of human-altered croplands, pastures, towns and cities. These anthropogenic biomes — “anthromes” for short — offer a fresh way of seeing our planetary pastiche.”

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