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Great Acceleration

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The Great Acceleration graphs show the significant increase in human activity from around 1950 onwards and the subsequent impact on some Earth system processes.

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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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