The tale of Europeans explorers’ arrival in the Americas is a dark one, colored by slavery, slaughter, and smallpox. But a new study calls key details of that story into question, including how quickly Native American societies succumbed to disease, and how Earth’s climate responded.
For years, the term “Anthropocene” has been used to informally describe the human era on Earth. But new evidence suggests there’s nothing informal about it. We’re a true force of nature — and there’s good reason to believe we’ve sparked a new and unprecedented geological epoch.
Human beings are having an overwhelming impact on Earth’s ecosystems, whether we’re pouring plastic into the ocean or filling the skies with carbon. But it’s not just modern society that’s to blame — our environmental legacy stretches way back into history. Since dawn of civilization, we’ve caused nearly half of the…
Landfills, E-waste piles, and ocean garbage patches are a part of our world we’d rather not see, but these eyesores aren’t going away. Rather than simply accept that our planet is being swallowed by garbage, one artist has started turning this discarded junk into something beautiful.
Using 24 key social, economic, and environmental indicators, our friend Félix Pharand-Deschênes has created a dashboard that shows how human pressure on planet Earth is reaching critical level. Fast. The acceleration shown over the last 60 years is absolutely crazy. Zoom in. Freak out.
When most of us think of what humans will leave behind when we go, we imagine skeleton buildings or toxic landfills. But according to some geologists, the longest-lasting impact we'll have on Earth is actually beneath our feet—in the form millions of tunnels, deep boreholes, and mines.
In the debut issue of a new journal called The Anthropocene Review, University of Leicester geologist Jan Zalasiewicz leads a team of five writers in discussing the gradual fossilization of human artifacts, including industrial machines, everyday objects, and even whole cities. They refer to these as "technofossils,"…
Tomorrow and Thursday, an estimated 43.4 million Americans will travel to celebrate Thanksgiving with their loved, hated and annoyed ones. According to NASA, 90 percent will travel by road, and the rest will use airplanes and trains. Here are the roads, train tracks and flight paths they will take.
We know that climate change is already affecting Earth's weather in a major way, but we don't exactly know how bad things are going to get. However, scientists have a pretty good idea of the probabilities of Earth going to hell in the next few decades. This video shows them.
Initially, access to water defined where humanity could grow and develop. But now the opposite is true, and we're the ones directing the future of our global water system. Watching that transition unfold is as sobering as it is stunning.
Scientists are thinking about starting a new geological era: the Anthropocene, the period of geological, environmental and biological transformation of the planet by humans. Cities, towns, shipping routes, global roads and air networks are all changing Earth. This video shows the extent of this change.
Anthropologist and Gizmodo friend Félix Pharand is mapping the effect of humans on planet Earth. His latest video—which shows cities, transmission lines, pipelines, roads and railways with amazing detail—is simply spectacular. Play it at full screen.
This visualization of Earth—made by anthropologist Félix Pharand—shows urban areas, shipping routes, global roads and air networks. It gives a very good idea on how big our species' physical impact on the planet really is.