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Human Domination of Earth’s Ecosystems

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Abstract

Human alteration of Earth is substantial and growing. Between one-third and one-half of the land surface has been transformed by human action; the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere has increased by nearly 30 percent since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution; more atmospheric nitrogen is fixed by humanity than by all natural terrestrial sources combined; more than half of all accessible surface fresh water is put to use by humanity; and about one-quarter of the bird species on Earth have been driven to extinction. By these and other standards, it is clear that we live on a human-dominated planet.

Keywords

  • human domination
  • extinction
  • carbon cycle
  • nitrogen cycle
  • global change
  • land cover change

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Vitousek, P.M., Mooney, H.A., Lubchenco, J., Melillo, J.M. (2008). Human Domination of Earth’s Ecosystems. In: , et al. Urban Ecology. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-73412-5_1

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