PerspectiveGlobal Change

Sharing the Garden

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Science  21 Dec 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5551, pp. 2490-2491
DOI: 10.1126/science.1066317

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Human activities have profound impacts on our planet, but these impacts can be difficult to measure accurately. In 1986, an influential study used the fraction of Earth's total plant growth or net primary production that is appropriated by humans as a measure. In his Perspective, Field discusses the reassessment of this value by Rojstaczer et al. and highlights ways in which estimates of human impacts can be further improved.