L ATITUDE

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT -

A study has mapped the im­pact of hu­man­ity on the en­vi­ron­ment in the last 16 years. The re­searchers used var­i­ous kinds of satel­lite data to an­a­lyse eight dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories of hu­man im­pacts be­tween 1993 and 2009. These in­clude crop­land, pas­ture land, pop­u­la­tion den­sity, night­time lights, roads, rail­ways, and nav­i­ga­ble wa­ter­ways. They found that while the hu­man foot­print had not grown in di­rect pro­por­tion to the pop­u­la­tion or econ­omy, the most in­tense pres­sure was be­ing felt in the most bio­di­verse places such as the Ama­zon and the Arc­tic.

This map shows where hu­mans' im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment in­creased or de­creased from 1993 to 2009

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