Jonathan Boright for ISciences- Humanity on the Map: Adding Human Civilization to the Biosphere

On Staff at ISciences since 2006, Jonathan uses GIS to create global-scale models of human-environment systems. His most recent work focuses on water stress resulting from both natural and human-induced changes to the terrestrial hydrologic cycle.

Looking at the world around us in new ways is what Geography Awareness Week is all about, and Profs. Erle Ellis and Navin Ramankutty have taken a fresh look at how we view our planet.

In 2008, Ellis and Ramankutty introduced the concept of anthropogenic biomes (also called “anthromes”). They delineated 21 anthropogenic biomes based on population density, land use and vegetation cover, and further grouped them into six major categories–dense settlements, villages, croplands, rangeland, forested and wildlands.

Their intriguing concept maps the terrestrial biosphere in its contemporary, human-altered form using global units defined by patterns of direct human interaction. The concept of anthropogenic biomes turns tradition on its head: a view of the world as a natural ecosystem with humans disturbing it changes to a perspective of human systems with natural ecosystems embedded within them. This thought-provoking view of our world has stirred up a bit controversy.

Keep reading Jonathan’s full post on ISciences’ blog!

Leave a Reply