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Selection: with tag anthropocene [37 articles] 


Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 114, No. 30. (25 July 2017), pp. E6089-E6096,


[Significance] The strong focus on species extinctions, a critical aspect of the contemporary pulse of biological extinction, leads to a common misimpression that Earth’s biota is not immediately threatened, just slowly entering an episode of major biodiversity loss. This view overlooks the current trends of population declines and extinctions. Using a sample of 27,600 terrestrial vertebrate species, and a more detailed analysis of 177 mammal species, we show the extremely high degree of population decay in vertebrates, even in common “species of ...


No saturation in the accumulation of alien species worldwide

Nature Communications, Vol. 8 (15 February 2017), 14435,


Although research on human-mediated exchanges of species has substantially intensified during the last centuries, we know surprisingly little about temporal dynamics of alien species accumulations across regions and taxa. Using a novel database of 45,813 first records of 16,926 established alien species, we show that the annual rate of first records worldwide has increased during the last 200 years, with 37% of all first records reported most recently (1970–2014). Inter-continental and inter-taxonomic variation can be largely attributed to the diaspora of ...


Global urban signatures of phenotypic change in animal and plant populations

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (03 January 2017), 201606034,


[Significance] Ecoevolutionary feedbacks on contemporary timescales were hypothesized over half a century ago, but only recently has evidence begun to emerge. The role that human activity plays in such dynamics is still unclear. Through a metaanalysis of >1,600 phenotypic changes in species across regions and ecosystem types, we examine the evidence that the rate of phenotypic change has an urban signature. Our findings indicate greater phenotypic change in urbanizing systems compared with natural and nonurban anthropogenic systems. By explicitly linking urban development ...


The global methane budget 2000–2012

Earth System Science Data, Vol. 8, No. 2. (12 December 2016), pp. 697-751,


The global methane (CH4) budget is becoming an increasingly important component for managing realistic pathways to mitigate climate change. This relevance, due to a shorter atmospheric lifetime and a stronger warming potential than carbon dioxide, is challenged by the still unexplained changes of atmospheric CH4 over the past decade. Emissions and concentrations of CH4 are continuing to increase, making CH4 the second most important human-induced greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide. Two major difficulties in reducing uncertainties come from the large variety ...


Involve social scientists in defining the Anthropocene

Nature, Vol. 540, No. 7632. (7 December 2016), pp. 192-193,


The causes of Earth's transition are human and social, write Erle Ellis and colleagues, so scholars from those disciplines must be included in its formalization. ...


Fire effects on soils: the human dimension

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 371, No. 1696. (05 June 2016), 20150171,


Soils are among the most valuable non-renewable resources on the Earth. They support natural vegetation and human agro-ecosystems, represent the largest terrestrial organic carbon stock, and act as stores and filters for water. Mankind has impacted on soils from its early days in many different ways, with burning being the first human perturbation at landscape scales. Fire has long been used as a tool to fertilize soils and control plant growth, but it can also substantially change vegetation, enhance soil erosion ...


An Anthropocene map of genetic diversity

Science, Vol. 353, No. 6307. (29 September 2016), pp. 1532-1535,


The Anthropocene is witnessing a loss of biodiversity, with well-documented declines in the diversity of ecosystems and species. For intraspecific genetic diversity, however, we lack even basic knowledge on its global distribution. We georeferenced 92,801 mitochondrial sequences for >4500 species of terrestrial mammals and amphibians, and found that genetic diversity is 27% higher in the tropics than in nontropical regions. Overall, habitats that are more affected by humans hold less genetic diversity than wilder regions, although results for mammals are sensitive ...


The maximum climate ambition needs a firm research backing

Nature, Vol. 537, No. 7622. (28 September 2016), pp. 585-586,


We need to know what the 1.5 °C warming target will involve — even if we don’t reach it. [Excerpt] [...] The 2015 Paris climate agreement commits governments to keeping average global surface temperatures to between 1.5 °C and 2 °C above the preindustrial level. But warming has already passed the 1-degree mark, and some estimates suggest that even if current commitments are fully implemented, they would allow temperatures to rise nearly 3 °C. If the 2-degree goal seems implausible, given current politics, 1.5 °C is ...


A horizon scan of global conservation issues for 2016

Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 31, No. 1. (January 2016), pp. 44-53,


This paper presents the results of our seventh annual horizon scan, in which we aimed to identify issues that could have substantial effects on global biological diversity in the future, but are not currently widely well known or understood within the conservation community. Fifteen issues were identified by a team that included researchers, practitioners, professional horizon scanners, and journalists. The topics include use of managed bees as transporters of biological control agents, artificial superintelligence, electric pulse trawling, testosterone in the aquatic ...


Define the Anthropocene in terms of the whole Earth

Nature, Vol. 536, No. 7616. (17 August 2016), pp. 251-251,


Researchers must consider human impacts on entire Earth systems and not get trapped in discipline-specific definitions, says Clive Hamilton. [Excerpt] The Anthropocene was conceived by Earth-system scientists to capture the very recent rupture in Earth’s history arising from the impact of human activity on the Earth system as a whole. Read that again. Take special note of the phrases ‘very recent rupture’ and ‘the Earth system as a whole’. Understanding the Anthropocene, and what humanity now confronts, depends on a firm grasp of ...


Has land use pushed terrestrial biodiversity beyond the planetary boundary? A global assessment

Science, Vol. 353, No. 6296. (14 July 2016), pp. 288-291,


[Crossing “safe” limits for biodiversity loss] The planetary boundaries framework attempts to set limits for biodiversity loss within which ecological function is relatively unaffected. Newbold et al. present a quantitative global analysis of the extent to which the proposed planetary boundary has been crossed (see the Perspective by Oliver). Using over 2 million records for nearly 40,000 terrestrial species, they modeled the response of biodiversity to land use and related pressures and then estimated, at a spatial resolution of ∼1 km2, the ...


A planet with two billion cars

Current Biology, Vol. 26, No. 8. (April 2016), pp. R307-R310,


Projections indicate there will be two billion motor vehicles on the roads by 2030, most of them still powered by fossil fuels. Apart from the obvious implications for climate change, this trend also spells public health as well as environmental problems on an unprecedented scale. Michael Gross reports. ...


Humans on Earth; global extents of anthropogenic land cover from remote sensing



This review provides a perspective of the current state of the art in remote sensing of anthropogenic land cover and human-modified landscapes at global scales. The fact that humans have adapted to almost all of Earth’s environments, yet remain strongly clustered within each of these environments influences both the nature of anthropogenic impact on Earth’s landscapes and the challenges of mapping it. Remote sensing provides a consistent synoptic view of these environments by mapping the land cover associated with the anthropogenic ...


Humanity's unsustainable environmental footprint

Science, Vol. 344, No. 6188. (2014), pp. 1114-1117,


Within the context of Earth’s limited natural resources and assimilation capacity, the current environmental footprint of humankind is not sustainable. Assessing land, water, energy, material, and other footprints along supply chains is paramount in understanding the sustainability, efficiency, and equity of resource use from the perspective of producers, consumers, and government. We review current footprints and relate those to maximum sustainable levels, highlighting the need for future work on combining footprints, assessing trade-offs between them, improving computational techniques, estimating maximum sustainable ...


Out of the blue and into the black - new views of the Earth at night

(December 2012)


[Excerpt] The night is nowhere near as dark as most of us think. In fact, the Earth is never really dark. And we don’t have to be in the dark about what is happening at night anymore either. —Steven Miller, atmospheric scientist, Colorado State University [\n] The night side of Earth twinkles with light. The first thing to stand out is the cities. “Nothing tells us more about the spread of humans across the Earth than city lights,” asserts Chris Elvidge, a ...


Travel time to major cities: a global map of accessibility



[Excerpt: Background] The world is shrinking. Cheap flights, large scale commercial shipping and expanding road networks all mean that we are better connected to everywhere else than ever before. But global travel and international trade and just two of the forces that have reshaped our world. A new map of Travel Time to Major Cities - developed by the European Commission and the World Bank - captures this connectivity and the concentration of economic activity and also highlights that there is little ...


A meta-analysis of functional group responses to forest recovery outside of the tropics

Conservation Biology, Vol. 29, No. 6. (1 December 2015), pp. 1695-1703,


Both active and passive forest restoration schemes are used in degraded landscapes across the world to enhance biodiversity and ecosystem service provision. Restoration is increasingly also being implemented in biodiversity offset schemes as compensation for loss of natural habitat to anthropogenic development. This has raised concerns about the value of replacing old-growth forest with plantations, motivating research on biodiversity recovery as forest stands age. Functional diversity is now advocated as a key metric for restoration success, yet it has received little ...


On underestimation of global vulnerability to tree mortality and forest die-off from hotter drought in the Anthropocene

Ecosphere, Vol. 6, No. 8. (August 2015), art129,


Patterns, mechanisms, projections, and consequences of tree mortality and associated broad-scale forest die-off due to drought accompanied by warmer temperatures—“hotter drought”, an emerging characteristic of the Anthropocene—are the focus of rapidly expanding literature. Despite recent observational, experimental, and modeling studies suggesting increased vulnerability of trees to hotter drought and associated pests and pathogens, substantial debate remains among research, management and policy-making communities regarding future tree mortality risks. We summarize key mortality-relevant findings, differentiating between those implying lesser versus greater levels of ...


Increasing human dominance of tropical forests

Science, Vol. 349, No. 6250. (21 August 2015), pp. 827-832,


Tropical forests house over half of Earth’s biodiversity and are an important influence on the climate system. These forests are experiencing escalating human influence, altering their health and the provision of important ecosystem functions and services. Impacts started with hunting and millennia-old megafaunal extinctions (phase I), continuing via low-intensity shifting cultivation (phase II), to today’s global integration, dominated by intensive permanent agriculture, industrial logging, and attendant fires and fragmentation (phase III). Such ongoing pressures, together with an intensification of global environmental ...


Forestry in the Anthropocene

Science, Vol. 349, No. 6250. (21 August 2015), pp. 771-771,


[Excerpt] Human activity has had enormous effects on the species composition of floras and faunas, creating new ecological biomes worldwide. A principal challenge in forestry research and conservation is how to deal with these novel ecosystems. Most attention to this phenomenon is centered on the negative effects of species introductions and the need to stem the tide of species invasion. However, we need to scientifically understand new ecosystems and learn to recognize adaptive species combinations that will function sustainably in changing ...


Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction

Science Advances, Vol. 1, No. 5. (19 10:51:26 June 2015),


The oft-repeated claim that Earth’s biota is entering a sixth “mass extinction” depends on clearly demonstrating that current extinction rates are far above the “background” rates prevailing in the five previous mass extinctions. Earlier estimates of extinction rates have been criticized for using assumptions that might overestimate the severity of the extinction crisis. We assess, using extremely conservative assumptions, whether human activities are causing a mass extinction. First, we use a recent estimate of a background rate of 2 mammal extinctions ...


Core Concept: Ecosystem services

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 112, No. 24. (16 June 2015), pp. 7337-7338,


[Excerpt] If one were to build a healthy biosphere from scratch on another planet, what kinds of ecosystems and combinations of species would be necessary to support humans? This is the thought experiment that ecologist Gretchen Daily, a Bing professor at Stanford University, poses to illustrate the crucial role that the natural environment plays in supporting human society. [\n] Efforts to spotlight the various ways human existence relies on our natural surroundings began in the 1980s, partly instigated by Daily’s doctoral ...


The ‘Anthropocene’ as a ratified unit in the ICS International Chronostratigraphic Chart: fundamental issues that must be addressed by the Task Group

Geological Society, London, Special Publications, Vol. 395, No. 1. (01 January 2014), pp. 23-28,


The proposal that the ‘Anthropocene’ should be ratified as a unit of the International Chronostratigraphic Chart/Geological Time Scale deserves serious consideration by the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS). The ‘Anthropocene’ task group within the ICS Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy is responsible for producing a recommendation to be evaluated and considered for approval at high levels in the ICS organization. It must consider the rank and extent of the unit as well as a GSSP or GSSA that defines its lower boundary ...


Is the Anthropocene an issue of stratigraphy or pop culture?

GSA Today, Vol. 22, No. 7. (July 2012), pp. 60-61,


The term Anthropocene recently entered into the rhetoric of both the scientific community and the popular environmental movement. Scientific proponents argue that global industrialization drives accelerated Earth-system changes unrivaled in Earth’s history. The discussion now filters into geological stratigraphy with proposals to amend formal time stratigraphic nomenclature (Zalasiewicz et al., 2008, 2010). Environmentalists suggest that terms like Anthropocene foster broad social and cultural awareness of human-induced environmental changes. Advocates argue that greater awareness of humanity’s role in environmental change encourages sustainable ...


When did the Anthropocene begin? A mid-twentieth century boundary level is stratigraphically optimal

Quaternary International (January 2015),


We evaluate the boundary of the Anthropocene geological time interval as an epoch, since it is useful to have a consistent temporal definition for this increasingly used unit, whether the presently informal term is eventually formalized or not. Of the three main levels suggested – an ‘early Anthropocene’ level some thousands of years ago; the beginning of the Industrial Revolution at ∼1800 CE (Common Era); and the ‘Great Acceleration’ of the mid-twentieth century – current evidence suggests that the last of ...


The Anthropocene

Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Vol. 41, No. 1. (2013), pp. 45-68,


The start of the period of large-scale human effects on this planet (the Anthropocene) is debated. The industrial view holds that most significant impacts have occurred since the early industrial era (∼1850), whereas the early-anthropogenic view recognizes large impacts thousands of years earlier. This review focuses on three indices of global-scale human influence: forest clearance (and related land use), emissions of greenhouse gases (CO2 and CH4), and effects on global temperature. Because reliable, systematic land-use surveys are rare prior to 1950, ...


Are we now living in the Anthropocene?

GSA Today, Vol. 18, No. 2. (February 2008), pp. 4-8,


The term Anthropocene, proposed and increasingly employed to denote the current interval of anthropogenic global environmental change, may be discussed on stratigraphic grounds. A case can be made for its consideration as a formal epoch in that, since the start of the Industrial Revolution, Earth has endured changes sufficient to leave a global stratigraphic signature distinct from that of the Holocene or of previous Pleistocene interglacial phases, encompassing novel biotic, sedimentary, and geochemical change. These changes, although likely only in their initial phases, are sufficiently distinct and robustly established for suggestions ...


The "Anthropocene"

Global Change Newsletter, Vol. 41 (May 2000), pp. 17-18


[Excerpt] The name Holocene (“Recent Whole”)for the post-glacial geological epoch of the past ten to twelve thousand years seems to have been proposed for the first time by Sir Charles Lyell in 1833, and adopted by the International Geological Congress in Bologna in 1885 (1). During the Holocene mankind’s activities gradually grew into a significant geological, morphological force, as recognised early on by a number of scientists. Thus, G.P. Marsh already in 1864 published a book with the title “Man and Nature”, more recently reprinted as “The Earth as Modified by Human Action” (2). Stoppani ...


Anthropocene: the human age

Nature, Vol. 519, No. 7542. (11 March 2015), pp. 144-147,


Momentum is building to establish a new geological epoch that recognizes humanity's impact on the planet. But there is fierce debate behind the scenes. [Excerpt] [...] Through mining activities alone, humans move more sediment than all the world's rivers combined. Homo sapiens has also warmed the planet, raised sea levels, eroded the ozone layer and acidified the oceans. [\n] Given the magnitude of these changes, many researchers propose that the Anthropocene represents a new division of geological time. The concept has gained traction, ...


  1. Walker, M., Johnsen, S., Rasmussen, S. O., Popp, T., Steffensen, J.-P., Gibbard, P., Hoek, W., Lowe, J., Andrews, J., Björck, S., Cwynar, L. C., Hughen, K., Kershaw, P., Kromer, B., Litt, T., Lowe, D. J., Nakagawa, T., Newnham, R., Schwander, J., 2009. Formal definition and dating of the GSSP (global stratotype section and point) for the base of the holocene using the greenland NGRIP ice core, and selected auxiliary records. Journal of Quaternary Science 24 (1), 3-17.

Stephen Hawking: 'Transcendence looks at the implications of artificial intelligence - but are we taking AI seriously enough?'

The Independent, Vol. 2014, No. 05-01. (1 May 2014), 9313474


Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks, says a group of leading scientists. [Excerpt] Artificial-intelligence (AI) research is now progressing rapidly. Recent landmarks such as self-driving cars, a computer winning at Jeopardy! and the digital personal assistants Siri, Google Now and Cortana are merely symptoms of an IT arms race fuelled by unprecedented investments and building on an increasingly mature theoretical foundation. ...


A Synthesis of Information on Rapid Land-cover Change for the Period 1981–2000

BioScience, Vol. 55, No. 2. (01 February 2005), pp. 115-124,[0115:asoior];2


This article presents a synthesis of what is known about areas of rapid land-cover change around the world over the past two decades, based on data compiled from remote sensing and censuses, as well as expert opinion. Asia currently has the greatest concentration of areas of rapid land-cover changes, and dryland degradation in particular. The Amazon basin remains a major hotspot of tropical deforestation. Rapid cropland increase, often associated with large-scale deforestation, is prominent in Southeast Asia. Forest degradation in Siberia, ...


(INRMM-MiD internal record) List of keywords of the INRMM meta-information database - part 2

(February 2014)
Keywords: agroecosystems   agroforestry   ailanthone   ailanthus-altissima   ailanthus-glandulosa   ailanthus-spp   air-pollution   air-quality   alaska   albania   albedo   albizia-guachapele   albizia-julibrissin   albizia-lebbek   alcoholic-beverage   alder-decline   aleurites-fordii   aleurites-moluccana   algarve   algebra   algorithm-engineering   algorithm-errors   algorithmics   algorithms   alien-species   allelochemicals   allelopathy   allergen   allergy   allozymes   alnus-cordata   alnus-cremastogyne   alnus-crispa   alnus-glutinosa   alnus-hirsuta   alnus-incana   alnus-nepalensis   alnus-rhombifolia   alnus-rubra   alnus-spp   alnus-viridis   aloe-dichotoma   alpine-environment   alpine-region   alsophila-pometaria   altica-populi   altitudinal-gradient   aluminium   amaranthus-spp   amazonia   ambiguity   amblypelta-cocophaga   ambrosiella-spp   amelanchier-laevis   amelanchier-ovalis   amelanchier-spp   amelancier-ovalis   amorpha-fruticosa   amsterdam   anacardium-occidentale   anaerea-calcarata   anaerea-carcharias   analogic-thinking   analysis   ancient-forest   ancient-forest-plant-species   ande-region   andira-inermis   animal   animal-feed   anisogramma-anomala   anisotrpy   annona-cherimola   annual-precipitation   anomaly-detection   anoplophora-glabripennis   anoplophora-horsfieldi   anoxia   ansi   ant-colony-optimization   antarctic-region   antarctic-sea-ice   anthropic-feedback   anthropocene   anthropogenic-changes   anthropogenic-impacts   anthropogenic-unsustainable-species-distribution   anti-inflammatory   anti-nociceptive   antiaris-toxicaria   antifeedant-activity   antifungal-compounds   antifungal-properties   antimycobacterial-terpenoids   antioxidative-potential   antipattern   apache2-0   inrmm-list-of-tags  


List of indexed keywords within the transdisciplinary set of domains which relate to the Integrated Natural Resources Modelling and Management (INRMM). In particular, the list of keywords maps the semantic tags in the INRMM Meta-information Database (INRMM-MiD). [\n] The INRMM-MiD records providing this list are accessible by the special tag: inrmm-list-of-tags ( ). ...


Navigating the Anthropocene: improving Earth system governance

Science, Vol. 335, No. 6074. (16 March 2012), pp. 1306-1307,


Science assessments indicate that human activities are moving several of Earth's sub-systems outside the range of natural variability typical for the previous 500,000 years (1, 2). Human societies must now change course and steer away from critical tipping points in the Earth system that might lead to rapid and irreversible change (3). This requires fundamental reorientation and restructuring of national and international institutions toward more effective Earth system governance and planetary stewardship. ...


Multiscale regime shifts and planetary boundaries

Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 28, No. 7. (1 July 2013), pp. 389-395,


"The history of life reveals repeated planetary-scale tipping points."The pace of global changes is often slow even after a tipping point is exceeded."The risk of long-term damage to Earth systems that support humanity is increasing."Planetary-scale governance is needed to safeguard humans and ecosystems. Life on Earth has repeatedly displayed abrupt and massive changes in the past, and there is no reason to expect that comparable planetary-scale regime shifts will not continue in the future. Different lines of evidence indicate that regime ...


Has the Earth’s sixth mass extinction already arrived?

Nature, Vol. 471, No. 7336. (3 March 2011), pp. 51-57,


Palaeontologists characterize mass extinctions as times when the Earth loses more than three-quarters of its species in a geologically short interval, as has happened only five times in the past 540million years or so. Biologists now suggest that a sixth mass extinction may be under way, given the known species losses over the past few centuries and millennia. Here we review how differences between fossil and modern data and the addition of recently available palaeontological information influence our understanding of the ...


Soot Is Warming the World Even More Than Thought

Science, Vol. 339, No. 6118. (25 January 2013), pp. 382-382,


The roughly 8 million tons of soot produced each year by burning everything from coal in power plants to oil in ship's boilers is bad news for the planet. A new study finds that soot is warming the climate about twice as fast as scientists had estimated and, for the first time, points policymakers to the soot sources that will make the best targets for climate regulations. ...


The Anthropocene: From Global Change to Planetary Stewardship

AMBIO, Vol. 40, No. 7. (12 October 2011), pp. 739-761,


Over the past century, the total material wealth of humanity has been enhanced. However, in the twenty-first century, we face scarcity in critical resources, the degradation of ecosystem services, and the erosion of the planet’s capability to absorb our wastes. Equity issues remain stubbornly difficult to solve. This situation is novel in its speed, its global scale and its threat to the resilience of the Earth System. The advent of the Anthropence, the time interval in which human activities now rival ...

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Meta-information Database (INRMM-MiD).
This database integrates a dedicated meta-information database in CiteULike (the CiteULike INRMM Group) with the meta-information available in Google Scholar, CrossRef and DataCite. The Altmetric database with Article-Level Metrics is also harvested. Part of the provided semantic content (machine-readable) is made even human-readable thanks to the DCMI Dublin Core viewer. Digital preservation of the meta-information indexed within the INRMM-MiD publication records is implemented thanks to the Internet Archive.
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INRMM-MiD was experimentally established by the Maieutike Research Initiative in 2008 and then improved with the help of several volunteers (with a major technical upgrade in 2011). This new integrated interface is operational since 2014.