Great Acceleration

The Great Acceleration refers to the most recent period of the proposed Anthropocene epoch during which the rate of impact of human activity upon the Earth's geology and ecosystems is increasing significantly. While the proposed start dates for the Anthropocene span the Industrial Revolution and earlier, the Great Acceleration begins in the 20th century with the acceleration rate dramatically increasing after the Second World War.[1][2] This concept has been further extended to refer to the rate of change in technology and society as a whole.[3]

In tracking the effects of human activity upon the Earth, a number of socioeconomic and earth system parameters are utilized including population, economics, water usage, food production, transportation, technology, green house gases, surface temperature, and natural resource usage.[4] The Anthropocene is typically depicted as following the Holocene, to emphasize the central role of humankind in geology and ecology.[5] Since 1950, these trends are increasing significantly if not exponentially.[1]

The international Geosphere-Biosphere Programme has divided and analyzed data from years 1750 to 2010 into two broad categories each with 12 subcategories.[6] The first category of socioeconomic trend data illustrates the impact on the second, the earth system trend data.

Socioeconomic trends[edit]

Socioeconomic Trends category of the Great Acceleration of the Anthropocene from 1750 to 2010. The data graphically displayed is scaled for each subcategories' 2010 value. Source data is from the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme www.igbp.net
  1. Population
  2. Real GDP
  3. Foreign Direct Investment
  4. Urban population
  5. Primary energy use
  6. Fertiliser consumption
  7. Large dams
  8. Water use
  9. Paper production
  10. Transportation
  11. Telecommunications
  12. International Tourism

Earth System Trends[edit]

Earth System Trends category of the Great Acceleration of the Anthropocene from 1750 to 2010. The data graphically displayed is scaled for each subcategories' 2010 value. Source data is from the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme www.igbp.net
  1. Carbon dioxide
  2. Nitrous oxide
  3. Methane
  4. Stratospheric ozone
  5. Surface temperature
  6. Ocean acidification
  7. Marine fish capture
  8. Shrimp aquaculture
  9. Nitrogen to coastal zone
  10. Tropical forest loss
  11. Domesticated land
  12. Terrestrial biosphere degradation
  13. ^ Broadgate, Wendy; et al. "The Great Acceleration data (October 2014)". International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  1. ^ a b Mcneill, J. R. (2014). The Great Acceleration: An Environmental History of the Anthropocene since 1945. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0674545038.
  2. ^ COLVILE, ROBERT (2017-04-06). The Great Acceleration: how the world is getting faster and faster. London: Bloomsbury. ISBN 9781408840214.
  3. ^ Steffen, Will; Crutzen, Paul J.; McNeill, John R. (2007). "The Anthropocene: Are Humans Now Overwhelming the Great Forces of Nature?". Ambio. 36 (8): 614–621. doi:10.1579/0044-7447(2007)36[614:TAAHNO]2.0.CO;2. JSTOR 25547826.
  4. ^ ANTHROPOCENE. "Welcome to the Anthropocene". Welcome to the Anthropocene. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  5. ^ Broadgate, Wendy; et al. "The Great Acceleration data (October 2014)". International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme. Retrieved 21 April 2018.

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