Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Assessment of recent rapid land-cover change yields portraits of global human impact

02.02.2005


Study is based on data compiled from remote sensing, censuses, and expert opinion



The February 2005 issue of BioScience, the monthly journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), includes a new assessment of rapid land-cover change around the world over the period from 1981 to 2000. Changes in the use to which land is put have important implications for climate change and loss of biodiversity, and affect local populations’ access to food and clean drinking water. The study, conducted under the auspices of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment by Erika Lepers of the University of Louvain in Belgium and six co-authors, examined forest-cover changes, degraded lands in dry regions (often referred to as desertification), cropland expansion and abandonment, and urban settlements. The assessment is based on data compiled from remote sensing and censuses as well as expert opinion.

The results indicate that whereas Asia has the greatest concentration of areas of rapid land-cover change, in particular dryland degradation, existing data do not support the claim that the African Sahel is a desertification hotspot. The Amazon Basin remains a hotspot of tropical deforestation, the assessment concludes, and rapid cropland increase is prominent in Southeast Asia. But forest degradation is also increasing rapidly in Siberia, mostly as a result of logging, and the southeastern United States and eastern China are experiencing rapid cropland decrease.


Lepers and her colleagues note that information is not complete globally, and the synthesis was complicated by varying definitions used in different data sets. An extensive process of consultation nevertheless allowed a useful picture to emerge; the assessment includes global maps showing regions of rapid land-cover change. The most populated areas of the world, the study notes, are located in the Gangetic Plain of northern India, the plain and north plateau of China, and the island of Java in Indonesia. Cities that are changing most rapidly are located throughout the tropical belt.

Donna Royston | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aibs.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>