Bloomberg Anywhere Login

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Don't Panic: Earth's Nine Threats to Humanity

By Eric Roston - 2011-12-13T01:58:47Z

Photograph by George Steinmetz/National Geographic Stock

Company Symbol % Change
8 of 12

Altered Landscapes

When it comes to moving Earth around, geological forces just can't compete with agriculture, construction and mining.

Since the last ice age, natural sediment flows amounted to about 21 gigatons a year. Compare that with 75 gigatons a year of lost cropland soil from modern farming, according to a 2007 study in the Geological Society of America Bulletin. Deforestation and water stress often accompany the expansion of agriculture in new areas, straining natural systems.

Agriculture now covers about 12 percent of ice-free land, according to the boundaries study. In Dunhuang, China, sand dunes loom over farms, advancing at a rate of six feet each year.

Read more energy & sustainability news.

Advertisement