Articles on Human impacts

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People have been modifying Earth – as in these rice terraces near Pokhara, Nepal – for millennia. Erle C. Ellis

Surveying archaeologists across the globe reveals deeper and more widespread roots of the human age, the Anthropocene

Hundreds of archaeologists provided on-the-ground data from across the globe, providing a new view of the long and varied history of people transforming Earth's environment.
Government negligence, rampant development and illegal land clearing spark wildfires in Indonesia that annually ravage thousands of acres of forest. AP Photo

Resource depletion is a serious problem, but ‘footprint’ estimates don’t tell us much about it

July 29, 2019 is 'Earth Overshoot Day,' a date coined by the nonprofit Global Footprint Network to publicize overuse of Earth's resources. But their estimates may actually understate the problem.
Human activity threatens many species across Africa’s savannahs. Paul Mulondo/WCS

Guns, snares and bulldozers: new map reveals hotspots for harm to wildlife

New research looked at human impacts on more than 5,000 threatened species and found that a quarter of them have almost nowhere left to go to escape from the threats posed by human development.
Purse seiner fishing in the Indian Ocean. Footprint estimates do not assess how sustainably resources such as fisheries are managed. Jiri Rezac

Yes, humans are depleting Earth’s resources, but ‘footprint’ estimates don’t tell the full story

August 1, 2018 is 'Earth Overshoot Day,' a date coined by the nonprofit Global Footprint Network to publicize overuse of Earth's resources. But their estimates actually understate the problem.
Red fox under cover of darkness in London. Jamie Hall. For use only with this article.

To avoid humans, more wildlife now work the night shift

It's becoming harder and harder for animals to find human-free spaces on the planet. New research suggests that to try to avoid people, mammals are shifting activity from the day to the nighttime.

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