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Selection: with tag anthropogenic-changes [71 articles] 

 

A human-driven decline in global burned area

  
Science, Vol. 356, No. 6345. (30 June 2017), pp. 1356-1362, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aal4108

Abstract

[Burn less, baby, burn less] Humans have, and always have had, a major impact on wildfire activity, which is expected to increase in our warming world. Andela et al. use satellite data to show that, unexpectedly, global burned area declined by ∼25% over the past 18 years, despite the influence of climate. The decrease has been largest in savannas and grasslands because of agricultural expansion and intensification. The decline of burned area has consequences for predictions of future changes to the atmosphere, ...

 

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, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1704949114

Abstract

[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 ...

 

An ecoregion-based approach to protecting half the terrestrial realm

  
BioScience (14 April 2017), https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/bix014

Abstract

We assess progress toward the protection of 50% of the terrestrial biosphere to address the species-extinction crisis and conserve a global ecological heritage for future generations. Using a map of Earth's 846 terrestrial ecoregions, we show that 98 ecoregions (12%) exceed Half Protected; 313 ecoregions (37%) fall short of Half Protected but have sufficient unaltered habitat remaining to reach the target; and 207 ecoregions (24%) are in peril, where an average of only 4% of natural habitat remains. We propose a ...

 

A global map of roadless areas and their conservation status

  
Science, Vol. 354, No. 6318. (16 December 2016), pp. 1423-1427, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaf7166

Abstract

[Too many roads] Roads have done much to help humanity spread across the planet and maintain global movement and trade. However, roads also damage wild areas and rapidly contribute to habitat degradation and species loss. Ibisch et al. cataloged the world's roads. Though most of the world is not covered by roads, it is fragmented by them, with only 7% of land patches created by roads being greater than 100 km2. Furthermore, environmental protection of roadless areas is insufficient, which could lead ...

 

No saturation in the accumulation of alien species worldwide

  
Nature Communications, Vol. 8 (15 February 2017), 14435, https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms14435

Abstract

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, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1606034114

Abstract

[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 ...

 

Involve social scientists in defining the Anthropocene

  
Nature, Vol. 540, No. 7632. (7 December 2016), pp. 192-193, https://doi.org/10.1038/540192a

Abstract

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. ...

 

Driving forces of global wildfires over the past millennium and the forthcoming century

  
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 107, No. 45. (09 November 2010), pp. 19167-19170, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1003669107

Abstract

Recent bursts in the incidence of large wildfires worldwide have raised concerns about the influence climate change and humans might have on future fire activity. Comparatively little is known, however, about the relative importance of these factors in shaping global fire history. Here we use fire and climate modeling, combined with land cover and population estimates, to gain a better understanding of the forces driving global fire trends. Our model successfully reproduces global fire activity record over the last millennium and ...

 

Land-use intensification causes multitrophic homogenization of grassland communities

  
Nature (30 November 2016), https://doi.org/10.1038/nature20575

Abstract

Land-use intensification is a major driver of biodiversity loss1, 2. Alongside reductions in local species diversity, biotic homogenization at larger spatial scales is of great concern for conservation. Biotic homogenization means a decrease in β-diversity (the compositional dissimilarity between sites). Most studies have investigated losses in local (α)-diversity1, 3 and neglected biodiversity loss at larger spatial scales. Studies addressing β-diversity have focused on single or a few organism groups (for example, ref. 4), and it is thus unknown whether land-use intensification ...

 

Fire effects on soils: the human dimension

  
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 371, No. 1696. (05 June 2016), 20150171, https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2015.0171

Abstract

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 ...

 

Spatiotemporal patterns of changes in fire regime and climate: defining the pyroclimates of south-eastern France (Mediterranean Basin)

  
Climatic Change, Vol. 129, No. 1-2. (2015), pp. 239-251, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-015-1332-3

Abstract

The impacts of climate change on fires are expected to be highly variable spatially and temporally. In heavily anthropized landscapes, the great number of factors affecting fire regimes further limits our ability to predict future fire activity caused by climate. To address this, we develop a new framework for analysing regional changes in fire regimes from specific spatiotemporal patterns of fires and climate, so-called pyroclimates. We aim to test the trends of fire activity and climate (1973–2009) across the Mediterranean and ...

 

Recent advances and remaining uncertainties in resolving past and future climate effects on global fire activity

  
Current Climate Change Reports, Vol. 2, No. 1. (2016), pp. 1-14, https://doi.org/10.1007/s40641-016-0031-0

Abstract

Fire is an integral component of the Earth system that will critically affect how terrestrial carbon budgets and living systems respond to climate change. Paleo and observational records document robust positive relationships between fire activity and aridity in many parts of the world on interannual to millennial timescales. Observed increases in fire activity and aridity in many areas over the past several decades motivate curiosity as to the degree to which anthropogenic climate change will alter global fire regimes and subsequently ...

 

A horizon scan of global conservation issues for 2016

  
Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 31, No. 1. (January 2016), pp. 44-53, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2015.11.007

Abstract

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 ...

 

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

  
Science, Vol. 353, No. 6296. (14 July 2016), pp. 288-291, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaf2201

Abstract

[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 ...

 

Anthropogenic disturbance and tree diversity in Montane Rain Forests in Chiapas, Mexico

  
Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 154, No. 1-2. (15 November 2001), pp. 311-326, https://doi.org/10.1016/s0378-1127(00)00639-3

Abstract

We studied the influence of anthropogenic disturbance on forest structure and composition in the highly populated Montane Rain Forests of northern Chiapas, Mexico. We evaluated species richness, basal area and stem density on 81 circular plots (0.1 ha each) along a categorical disturbance gradient due to forest extraction, livestock grazing, and fires. A total of 116 tree species (>5 cm DBH) were recorded in three major forest types recognized by TWINSPAN. The three forest types were: Quercus–Podocarpus Forest (QPF), Pinus–Quercus–Liquidambar Forest (PQLF), and ...

 

Natural and anthropogenic drivers of calcium depletion in a northern forest during the last millennium

  
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 113, No. 25. (21 June 2016), pp. 6934-6938, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1604909113

Abstract

[Significance] This research breaks new ground by showing that, contrary to generally accepted theories of ecosystem development, calcium depletion has been occurring for millennia as a natural consequence of long-term ecosystem development. This natural process predisposed forest ecosystems in the region to detrimental responses to acid rain in the 20th century. We also show that nitrogen availability was increasing concurrently with the depletion of calcium. This is the first study, to our knowledge, to reconstruct continuous changes in nutrient availability for a ...

 

Early farmers from across Europe directly descended from Neolithic Aegeans

  
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 113, No. 25. (21 June 2016), pp. 6886-6891, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1523951113

Abstract

[Significance] One of the most enduring and widely debated questions in prehistoric archaeology concerns the origins of Europe’s earliest farmers: Were they the descendants of local hunter-gatherers, or did they migrate from southwestern Asia, where farming began? We recover genome-wide DNA sequences from early farmers on both the European and Asian sides of the Aegean to reveal an unbroken chain of ancestry leading from central and southwestern Europe back to Greece and northwestern Anatolia. Our study provides the coup de grâce to ...

 

Understorey plant species richness and composition in metropolitan forest archipelagos: effects of forest size, adjacent land use and distance to the edge

  
Global Ecology and Biogeography, Vol. 15, No. 1. (January 2006), pp. 50-62, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1466-822x.2006.00197.x

Abstract

[Aim] To address the relative role of adjacent land use, distance to forest edge, forest size and their interactions on understorey plant species richness and composition in perimetropolitan forests. [Location] The metropolitan area of Barcelona, north-eastern Spain. [Methods]  Twenty sampling sites were distributed in two forest size-categories: small forest patches (8–90 ha) and large forest areas (> 18,000 ha). For each forest-size category, five sites were placed adjacent to crops and five sites adjacent to urban areas. Vascular plant species were recorded and human ...

 

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

  

Abstract

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 ...

 

Habitat destruction: death by a thousand cuts

  
In Conservation Biology for All (01 January 2010), pp. 73-87, https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199554232.003.0005

Abstract

[Excerpt] Humankind has dramatically transformed much of the Earth’s surface and its natural ecosystems. This process is not new—it has been ongoing for millennia—but it has accelerated sharply over the last two centuries, and especially in the last several decades. [\n] Today, the loss and degradation of natural habitats can be likened to a war of attrition. Many natural ecosystems are being progressively razed, bulldozed, and felled by axes or chainsaws, until only small scraps of their original extent survive. Forests have been hit especially hard: the global area of forests has been reduced ...

 

Biomass collapse in Amazonian forest fragments

  
Science, Vol. 278, No. 5340. (7 November 1997), pp. 1117-1118, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.278.5340.1117

Abstract

Rain forest fragments in central Amazonia were found to experience a dramatic loss of above-ground tree biomass that is not offset by recruitment of new trees. These losses were largest within 100 meters of fragment edges, where tree mortality is sharply increased by microclimatic changes and elevated wind turbulence. Permanent study plots within 100 meters of edges lost up to 36 percent of their biomass in the first 10 to 17 years after fragmentation. Lianas (climbing woody vines) increased near edges ...

 

Primary forests are irreplaceable for sustaining tropical biodiversity

  
Nature, Vol. 478, No. 7369. (14 September 2011), pp. 378-381, https://doi.org/10.1038/nature10425

Abstract

Human-driven land-use changes increasingly threaten biodiversity, particularly in tropical forests where both species diversity and human pressures on natural environments are high. The rapid conversion of tropical forests for agriculture, timber production and other uses has generated vast, human-dominated landscapes with potentially dire consequences for tropical biodiversity. Today, few truly undisturbed tropical forests exist, whereas those degraded by repeated logging and fires, as well as secondary and plantation forests, are rapidly expanding. Here we provide a global assessment of the impact ...

 

How green are biofuels?

  
Science, Vol. 319, No. 5859. (04 January 2008), pp. 43-44, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1153103

Abstract

Many biofuels are associated with lower greenhouse-gas emissions but have greater aggregate environmental costs than gasoline. [Excerpt] Global warming and escalating petroleum costs are creating an urgent need to find ecologically friendly fuels. Biofuels—such as ethanol from corn (maize) and sugarcane—have been increasingly heralded as a possible savior. But others have argued that biofuels will consume vast swaths of farmland and native habitats, drive up food prices, and result in little reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions . An innovative study by Zah et ...

 

Flood plains: critically threatened ecosystems

  
In Aquatic Ecosystems (2008), pp. 45-62, https://doi.org/10.1017/cbo9780511751790.006

Abstract

[Excerpt: Introduction] Riparian zones, river-marginal wetland environments and flood plains are key landscape elements with a high diversity of natural functions and services. They are dynamic systems that are shaped by repeated erosion and deposition of sediment, inundation during rising water levels, and complex groundwater–surface water exchange processes (Chapter 3). This dynamic nature makes flood plains among the most biologically productive and diverse ecosystems on earth [...]. Flood plains are also of great cultural and economic importance; most early civilizations arose in fertile flood plains and throughout history people have learned to ...

 

Reconstructing European forest management from 1600 to 2010

  
Biogeosciences, Vol. 12, No. 14. (23 July 2015), pp. 4291-4316, https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-12-4291-2015

Abstract

Because of the slow accumulation and long residence time of carbon in biomass and soils, the present state and future dynamics of temperate forests are influenced by management that took place centuries to millennia ago. Humans have exploited the forests of Europe for fuel, construction materials and fodder for the entire Holocene. In recent centuries, economic and demographic trends led to increases in both forest area and management intensity across much of Europe. In order to quantify the effects of these changes in forests and to provide a baseline for ...

 

The true loss caused by biodiversity offsets

  
Biological Conservation, Vol. 192 (December 2015), pp. 552-559, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2015.08.016

Abstract

Biodiversity offsets aim to achieve a “no-net-loss” of biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services due to development. The “no-net-less” objective assumes that the multi-dimensional values of biodiversity in complex ecosystems can be isolated from their spatial, evolutionary, historical, social, and moral context. We examine the irreplaceability of ecosystems, the limits of restoration, and the environmental values that claim to be compensated through ecosystem restoration. We discuss multiple ecological, instrumental, and non-instrumental values of ecosystems that should be considered in offsetting calculations. Considering ...

 

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, https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12548

Abstract

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 ...

 

Phantoms of the forest: legacy risk effects of a regionally extinct large carnivore

  
Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 6, No. 3. (January 2016), pp. 791-799, https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.1866

Abstract

The increased abundance of large carnivores in Europe is a conservation success, but the impact on the behavior and population dynamics of prey species is generally unknown. In Europe, the recolonization of large carnivores often occurs in areas where humans have greatly modified the landscape through forestry or agriculture. Currently, we poorly understand the effects of recolonizing large carnivores on extant prey species in anthropogenic landscapes. Here, we investigated if ungulate prey species showed innate responses to the scent of a ...

 

Core Concept: Ecosystem services

  
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 112, No. 24. (16 June 2015), pp. 7337-7338, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1503837112

Abstract

[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 ...

 

Oak (Quercus robur L.) regeneration as a response to natural dynamics of stands in European hemiboreal zone

  
European Journal of Forest Research In European Journal of Forest Research, Vol. 130, No. 5. (10 February 2011), pp. 785-797, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10342-010-0471-3

Abstract

The oak (Quercus robur L.) regeneration intensity was assessed in the core area of the Białowieża National Park (BNP) in Poland with respect to the selected ecological factors. The emphasis was placed on the response of oak regeneration to disturbances, including the large-scale dieback of spruce stands. Defining their effect could help predicting the role of oak in naturally developing lowland forest ecosystems in the European hemiboreal zone. The results of the study challenge the opinion that the ‘lime-oak-hornbeam forest’ is ...

 

History of landscape changes in northwest Spain according to land use and management

  
In Life and Environment in the Mediterranean, Vol. 3 (2000), pp. 43-86
edited by L. Trabaud

Abstract

The historical background in the northwest Iberian Peninsula has resulted in many changes in the landscape which have accounted for a special situation with high risk of forest fires. Post-fire recovery in these areas is by an autosuccession process because the species appearing after the disturbance are the same as occupied the area previously. Resprouting species predominate but obligate seeders are also important in these ecosystems. The degree of community maturity before the fire determines both fire damage and regeneration speed. ...

 

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, https://doi.org/10.1144/sp395.9

Abstract

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, https://doi.org/10.1130/G153GW.1

Abstract

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), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2014.11.045

Abstract

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, https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-earth-050212-123944

Abstract

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, https://doi.org/10.1130/GSAT01802A.1

Abstract

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

Abstract

[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, https://doi.org/10.1038/519144a

Abstract

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, ...

References

  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

Abstract

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. ...

 

Early human impact (5000-3000 BC) affects mountain forest dynamics in the Alps

  
Journal of Ecology, Vol. 103, No. 2. (1 March 2015), pp. 281-295, https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.12354

Abstract

[Summary] [::] The resilience, diversity and stability of mountain ecosystems are threatened by climatic as well as land-use changes, but the combined effects of these drivers are only poorly understood. [::] We combine two high-resolution sediment records from Iffigsee (2065 m a.s.l.) and Lauenensee (1382 m a.s.l.) at different elevations in the Northern Swiss Alps to provide a detailed history of vegetational changes during the period of first pastoralism (ca. 7000–5000 cal. BP, 5000–3000 BC) in order to understand ongoing and future changes ...

 

Impact of regional climate change on human health

  
Nature, Vol. 438, No. 7066. (17 November 2005), pp. 310-317, https://doi.org/10.1038/nature04188

Abstract

The World Health Organisation estimates that the warming and precipitation trends due to anthropogenic climate change of the past 30 years already claim over 150,000 lives annually. Many prevalent human diseases are linked to climate fluctuations, from cardiovascular mortality and respiratory illnesses due to heatwaves, to altered transmission of infectious diseases and malnutrition from crop failures. Uncertainty remains in attributing the expansion or resurgence of diseases to climate change, owing to lack of long-term, high-quality data sets as well as the large ...

Visual summary

 

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, https://doi.org/10.1641/0006-3568(2005)055[0115:asoior]2.0.co;2

Abstract

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, ...

 

Double threat for Tibet

  
Nature, Vol. 512, No. 7514. (19 August 2014), pp. 240-241, https://doi.org/10.1038/512240a

Abstract

Climate change and human development are jeopardizing the plateau’s fragile environment. ...

 

A large-scale field assessment of carbon stocks in human-modified tropical forests

  
Glob Change Biol (1 May 2014), pp. n/a-n/a, https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.12627

Abstract

Tropical rainforests store enormous amounts of carbon, the protection of which represents a vital component of efforts to mitigate global climate change. Currently, tropical forest conservation, science, policies, and climate mitigation actions focus predominantly on reducing carbon emissions from deforestation alone. However, every year vast areas of the humid tropics are disturbed by selective logging, understory fires, and habitat fragmentation. There is an urgent need to understand the effect of such disturbances on carbon stocks, and how stocks in disturbed forests ...

 

Climate change, connectivity and conservation decision making: back to basics

  
Journal of Applied Ecology, Vol. 46, No. 5. (October 2009), pp. 964-969, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2664.2009.01695.x

Abstract

The challenge of climate change forces us to re-examine the assumptions underlying conservation planning. [\n] Increasing ‘connectivity’ has emerged as the most favoured option for conservation in the face of climate change. [\n] We argue that the importance of connectivity is being overemphasized: quantifying the benefits of connectivity per se is plagued with uncertainty, and connectivity can be co-incidentally improved by targeting more concrete metrics: habitat area and habitat quality. [::Synthesis and applications] Before investing in connectivity projects, conservation practitioners should ...

 

Deforestation: Carving up the Amazon

  
Nature, Vol. 509, No. 7501. (21 May 2014), pp. 418-419, https://doi.org/10.1038/509418a

Abstract

A rash of road construction is causing widespread change in the world's largest tropical forest with potentially global consequences. [excerpt] The drying brought about by roads influences local atmospheric circulation patterns and can have farther-reaching effects that not only compromise the health of the Amazon but can also contribute to global warming by releasing carbon stored in the forest. [...] Stripping away trees not only eliminates a source of moisture; it also changes the regional air flow. As the forest dries, ...

 

Erosion regulation as a function of human disturbances to vegetation cover: a conceptual model

  
Landscape Ecology In Landscape Ecology, Vol. 29, No. 2. (2014), pp. 293-309, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-013-9956-z

Abstract

Human-induced land cover changes are causing important effects on the ecological services rendered by mountain ecosystems, and the number of case-studies of the impact of humans on soil erosion and sediment yield has mounted rapidly. In this paper, we present a conceptual model that allows evaluating overall changes in erosion regulation after human disturbances. The basic idea behind this model is that soil erosion mechanisms are independent of human impact, but that the frequency–magnitude distributions of erosion rates change as a ...

 

Fragmentation of forest landscapes in Central Africa: causes, consequences and management

  
In Patterns and Processes in Forest Landscapes (2008), pp. 67-87, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8504-8_5

Abstract

Forest fragmentation has a paramount impact on landscape pattern and has therefore been a key focus of landscape ecology. Trends and causes of deforestation are analysed for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Burundi, and are put in a regional, continental and global perspective. In order to investigate the role of shifting cultivation as a driver of fragmentation, the dynamics of a forest landscape between 1970 and 2005 for a study area in the Bas-Congo province of the Democratic ...

 

(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  

Abstract

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 ( http://mfkp.org/INRMM/tag/inrmm-list-of-tags ). ...

 

Can the 2011 East African drought be attributed to human-induced climate change?

  
Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 40, No. 6. (28 March 2013), pp. 1177-1181, https://doi.org/10.1002/grl.50235

Abstract

This study applies the technique of event attribution to the East African rainy seasons preceding the drought of 2011. Using observed sea surface temperatures (SSTs), sea ice conditions with a state-of-the-art atmosphere model, the precipitation totals during late 2010 (the “short rains”) and early 2011 (the “long rains”) were simulated hundreds of times to produce possible distributions of precipitation. Alternative distributions of precipitation were produced consistent with a world with neither anthropogenic forcings nor human influence on SSTs and sea ice. ...

This page of the database may be cited as:
Integrated Natural Resources Modelling and Management - Meta-information Database. http://mfkp.org/INRMM/tag/anthropogenic-changes

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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.