Human footprint surprisingly outpaced by population and economic growth
The global impact of human activities on the natural environment is extensive, but those impacts are expanding at a slower rate than the rate of economic and population growth. This is one key finding from the publication of the highest resolution and most comprehensive maps of humanity’s changing impact on the terrestrial environment, released today by a team of researchers from the University of Northern British Columbia, the University of Queensland, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and six other universities.
The results, published in the journal Nature Communications, reveal a complex story of how humans are altering natural habitats at the planetary scale. The study finds that while the global population grew 23 percent and the global economy grew 153 percent between 1993 and 2009, the global human footprint grew only 9 percent.
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