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Humans worst footprint on planet apart from algae, plants, asteroids, volcanoes

Posted By Jo Nova On August 26, 2016 @ 7:37 pm In Global Warming | Comments Disabled

Asteroid Impact, Image Wikimedia, Don David, NASA. KT Extinction.

Feel the guilt in the Gaia religion: New map shows alarming growth of the human footprint

 ”Humans are the most voracious consumers planet Earth has ever seen. With our land-use, hunting and other exploitative activities, we are now directly impacting three-quarters of the Earth’s land surface,” said Professor Laurance.

And three-quarters of 30% of the world is a fifth of the world. But algae will be feeling pretty cheezed right now. They wrecked up the whole atmosphere — but get no credit. Algae define the term “voracious consumer”. The pristine state of the atmosphere was transformed forever, plus the schmucks made oil.

But nothing changes the planet quite like a 10-20km wide rock dropping in and wiping out 90% of all species on Earth. That’s a “footprint”.

Note the magical 97% appears again — a sacred number of “certainty”:

A James Cook University scientist says a new map of the ecological footprint of humankind shows 97 per cent of the most species-rich places on Earth have been seriously altered.

JCU’s Professor Bill Laurance has taken part in a study to map the ecological effect of people on the planet. He said the news isn’t great.

“The most species-rich parts of the planet — especially including the tropical rainforests — have been hit hardest. In total, around 97 per cent of Earth’s biologically richest real estate has been seriously altered by humans,” he said.

The scientists found environmental pressures are widespread, with only a few very remote areas escaping damage.

 There’s that point about “wealth” again. :

Professor Laurance said wealthy nations and those with strong control of corruption showed some signs of improvement.

“In broad terms, industrial nations and those with lower corruption appear to be doing a better job of slowing the expansion of their human footprint than poorer countries with weak governance. But the wealthy countries have a much higher per-capita footprint, so each person there is consuming a lot more than those in poorer nations.”

Interesting stat:

But he said the news was not all bad.

“While the global human footprint expanded by nine per cent from 1993 to 2009, it didn’t increase as fast as the human population — which rose by a quarter — or economic growth — which exploded by over 150 percent — during the same period.”

REFERENCES

  1. Oscar Venter, Eric W. Sanderson, Ainhoa Magrach, James R. Allan, Jutta Beher, Kendall R. Jones, Hugh P. Possingham, William F. Laurance, Peter Wood, Balázs M. Fekete, Marc A. Levy, James E. M. Watson. Sixteen years of change in the global terrestrial human footprint and implications for biodiversity conservationNature Communications, 2016; 7: 12558 DOI:10.1038/ncomms12558
  2. Oscar Venter, Eric W. Sanderson, Ainhoa Magrach, James R. Allan, Jutta Beher, Kendall R. Jones, Hugh P. Possingham, William F. Laurance, Peter Wood, Balázs M. Fekete, Marc A. Levy, James E. M. Watson. Sixteen years of change in the global terrestrial human footprint and implications for biodiversity conservationNature Communications, 2016; 7: 12558 DOI:10.1038/ncomms12558

Image: Asteroid Impact KT Boundary, Don Davis NASA

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