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Human use of Earth's surface space

  • Subject: [cg] Human use of Earth's surface space
  • From: "John Verin" jverin@pennhort.org
  • Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 17:12:37 -0400
  • Content-class: urn:content-classes:message
  • Thread-index: AcJ61nD0IUeUsbogQs6DFZ9NOllGGAAAb65w
  • Thread-topic: no more room......

Please pass this on. We need to be aware of our impact more than ever... and to change our ways. 
 People use 83 percent of land surface: study

WASHINGTON (Reuters) --Humans take up 83 percent of the Earth's land surface to live on, farm, mine or fish, leaving just a few areas pristine for wildlife, according to a new report this week.

People also have taken advantage of 98 percent of the land that can be farmed for rice, wheat or corn, said the report, produced by scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Columbia University's Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) in New York.

Their map, published on the Internet at  http://www.wcs.org/humanfootprint, adds together influences from population density, access from roads and waterways, electrical power infrastructure, and the area used by cities and farms.

The few remaining wild areas include the northern forests of Alaska, Canada and Russia; the high plateaus of Tibet and Mongolia; and much of the Amazon River Basin.

"The map of the human footprint is a clear-eyed view of our influence on the Earth," Eric Sanderson, a landscape ecologist for the WCS, who led the report, said in a statement.

"It provides a way to find opportunities to save wildlife and wild lands in pristine areas, and also to understand how conservation in wilderness, countryside, suburbs, and cities are all related."

Antarctica and a few Arctic land patches were not included in the study because of the lack of data and near absence of human influences, said Malanding Jaiteh, senior staff associate at CIESIN.

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