Video: 8,050 Years of Human Impact on the Land Video: 8,050 Years of Human Impact on the Land
The Planet

Video: 8,050 Years of Human Impact on the Land

by Ben Jervey

April 12, 2011

Alexandra Witze writes about some new findings about humans' early climate meddling in Science News, saying "humans working the land put nearly 350 billion metric tons of carbon...into the atmosphere by the year 1850." She puts these numbers in context:

For comparison, between 1850 and 2000 people added 440 billion tons of carbon, mostly from burning fossil fuels — surpassing in a century and a half what had previously taken humankind eight millennia.

The video above tracks the change in land use over the past eight millenia. You can watch the land use changes spread from Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent out to India and Northern China, to Europe in Classical times, and on.

+
Join the discussion
Recently on GOOD

Maga-
zines need love too!
Artists depict nearly all-white Harry Potter cast as people of color. http://t.co/GY44QlltT1 http://t.co/JmUlXj2lZT
Video: 8,050 Years of Human Impact on the Land