The Great Acceleration
Population US Bureau of the Census (2000) International database IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steff...
Total real GDP Nordhaus (1997) The economics of new goods. University of Chicago Press IGBP synthesis: Global Change and t...
Foreign direct investment World Bank (2002) data and statistics IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffe...
Damming of rivers World Commission on Dams (2000) IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Water use Shiklomanov (1990) Global Water Resources IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Fertiliser consumption International Fertilizer Industry Association (2002) IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth Sy...
Urban population The State of the World ’s Cities (2001) IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al...
Paper consumption Pulp and paper international (1993) IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Motor vehicles Global environmental outlook (2000) IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Telephones Canning (2001) A database of world infrastructure stocks, 1950-95 World Bank IGBP synthesis: Global Change and ...
International tourism World Tourism Organization (2001) Tourism industry trends IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Eart...
Shrimp farm production IAnnual shrimp production as a proxy for coastal zone alteration. Sources: WRI (2003) A guide to wo...
Domesticated land Amount of land converted to pasture and cropland. Source: Klein Goldewijk and Battjes (1997) National In...
Planetary response
Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration Etheridge et al. Geophys Res 101: 4115-4128 IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the...
Atmospheric nitrous oxide concentration Machida et al Geophys Res Lett 22:2921-2925 IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the ...
Atmospheric methane concentration Blunier et al J Geophy Res 20: 2219-2222 IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth Sys...
Northern hemisphere average surface temperature Mann et al Geophys Res Lett 26(6): 759-762 IGBP synthesis: Global Change a...
Ozone depletion percentage total column ozone loss over Antarctica, using the average annual total column ozone, 330, as a...
Tropical rainforest and woodland loss  Loss of tropical rainforest and woodland, as estimated for tropical Africa, Latin A...
Natural climatic disasters  Decadal frequency of great floods (one-in-100-year events) after 1860 for basins larger than 2...
Fisheries exploitation Percentage of global fisheries either fully exploited, overfished or collapsed. Source: FAOSTAT (20...
Coastal zone nitrogen flux Model-calculated partitioning of the human-induced nitrogen perturbation fluxes in the global c...
Biodiversity loss Mathematically calculated rate of extinction. Source: Wilson (1992) The diversity of life, the Penguin P...
Great acceleration IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
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Great acceleration

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This series of graphs depict the massive acceleration in human activity since 1950 and the impact this has had on the Earth system. This is part of the research of the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme

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  • Some day, I hope that someone with Photoshop takes that image of global night lights, erases the lights, and titles it 1850. Or 2050.
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  • This great acceleration really started in the 50s
  • Great acceleration

    1. 1. The Great Acceleration
    2. 2. Population US Bureau of the Census (2000) International database IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
    3. 3. Total real GDP Nordhaus (1997) The economics of new goods. University of Chicago Press IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
    4. 4. Foreign direct investment World Bank (2002) data and statistics IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
    5. 5. Damming of rivers World Commission on Dams (2000) IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
    6. 6. Water use Shiklomanov (1990) Global Water Resources IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
    7. 7. Fertiliser consumption International Fertilizer Industry Association (2002) IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
    8. 8. Urban population The State of the World ’s Cities (2001) IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
    9. 9. Paper consumption Pulp and paper international (1993) IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
    10. 10. Motor vehicles Global environmental outlook (2000) IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
    11. 11. Telephones Canning (2001) A database of world infrastructure stocks, 1950-95 World Bank IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
    12. 12. International tourism World Tourism Organization (2001) Tourism industry trends IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
    13. 13. Shrimp farm production IAnnual shrimp production as a proxy for coastal zone alteration. Sources: WRI (2003) A guide to world resources, 2002-2004 IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
    14. 14. Domesticated land Amount of land converted to pasture and cropland. Source: Klein Goldewijk and Battjes (1997) National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). Bilthoven, Netherlands IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
    15. 15. Planetary response
    16. 16. Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration Etheridge et al. Geophys Res 101: 4115-4128 IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
    17. 17. Atmospheric nitrous oxide concentration Machida et al Geophys Res Lett 22:2921-2925 IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
    18. 18. Atmospheric methane concentration Blunier et al J Geophy Res 20: 2219-2222 IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
    19. 19. Northern hemisphere average surface temperature Mann et al Geophys Res Lett 26(6): 759-762 IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
    20. 20. Ozone depletion percentage total column ozone loss over Antarctica, using the average annual total column ozone, 330, as a base. Image: J.D. Shanklin, British Antarctic Survey IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
    21. 21. Tropical rainforest and woodland loss Loss of tropical rainforest and woodland, as estimated for tropical Africa, Latin America and South and Southeast Asia. Sources: Richards (1990) In: The Earth as transformed by human action, Cambridge University Press IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
    22. 22. Natural climatic disasters Decadal frequency of great floods (one-in-100-year events) after 1860 for basins larger than 200 000 km2 with observations that span at least 30 years. Source: Milly et al. (2002) Nature 415:514-517 IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
    23. 23. Fisheries exploitation Percentage of global fisheries either fully exploited, overfished or collapsed. Source: FAOSTAT (2002) Statistical databases IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
    24. 24. Coastal zone nitrogen flux Model-calculated partitioning of the human-induced nitrogen perturbation fluxes in the global coastal margin for the period since 1850. Source: Mackenzie et al. (2002) Chem. Geology 190:13-32 IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
    25. 25. Biodiversity loss Mathematically calculated rate of extinction. Source: Wilson (1992) The diversity of life, the Penguin Press. IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
    26. 26. Great acceleration IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
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