Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Does human transformation of land threaten future sustainability?

Date:
November 27, 2012
Source:
Geological Society of America
Summary:
Social and physical scientists have long been concerned about the effects of humans on Earth's surface -- in part through deforestation, encroachment of urban areas onto traditionally agricultural lands, and erosion of soils -- and the implications these changes have on Earth's ability to provide for an ever-growing population. A new article presents examples of land transformation by humans and documents some of the effects of these changes.

Social and physical scientists have long been concerned about the effects of humans on Earth's surface -- in part through deforestation, encroachment of urban areas onto traditionally agricultural lands, and erosion of soils -- and the implications these changes have on Earth's ability to provide for an ever-growing population. The December 2012 GSA Today science article presents examples of land transformation by humans and documents some of the effects of these changes.

Related Articles


Researchers Roger Hooke of the University of Maine, USA, and Josι F. Martνn-Duque and Javier Pedraza of Complutense University, Spain, examine factors such as available agricultural land area and discuss some of the implications of their findings in light of human population growth and its relationship to planetary resources.

Overall, they find that just over 50% of Earth's total land surface has been modified by human activity. Because many of these modifications also result in reduction of land available for agriculture -- either by degradation of land quality by processes such as soil erosion, or by transforming agriculture lands to urban uses -- Hooke and colleagues argue that these changes to our planet's land surface also influence the ability of these same lands to sustain local, regional, and, ultimately, global population.

Comparing projections of future changes in land-use with projections of population growth leads them to also suggest that human population may be entering, or already in, a state of "overshoot" -- where the needs of the present population exceed the long-term carrying capacity of a region. Solutions may not be easy to arrive at, but would need to involve a combination of efforts aimed to reduce demand for resources, develop new technical solutions to resource limitations, and to reduce the rate of growth of population.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Geological Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Roger LeB et al. Land transformation by humans: A review. GSA Today, 2012 DOI: 10.1130/GSATG151A.1

Cite This Page:

Geological Society of America. "Does human transformation of land threaten future sustainability?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127154209.htm>.
Geological Society of America. (2012, November 27). Does human transformation of land threaten future sustainability?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127154209.htm
Geological Society of America. "Does human transformation of land threaten future sustainability?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127154209.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) — The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) — Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said that NORAD is ready to track Santa Claus as he delivers gifts next week. Speaking tongue-in-cheek, he said if Santa drops anything off his sleigh, "we've got destroyers out there to pick them up." (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) — The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins