Humanity's impact on the environment goes back thousands of years

05/1/2013 | New Scientist

Research by geographer Erle Ellis and his colleagues suggests that the era of significant human influence on the environment may have started in ancient times. As far back as 5,000 years ago, human presence may have already transformed one-fifth of the available land in many areas of the world, their findings suggest. There were far fewer humans at the time, but each one needed much more land to survive, notes Ellis, who teaches at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

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