Human activities over the last three centuries have significantly transformed the Earth's environment, primarily through the conversion of natural ecosystems to agriculture. This study presents a simple approach to derive geographically explicit changes in global croplands from 1700 to 1992. By calibrating a remotely sensed land cover classification data set against cropland inventory data, we derived a global representation of permanent croplands in 1992, at 5 min spatial resolution (Ramankutty and Foley, 1998). To reconstruct historical croplands, we first compile an extensive database of historical cropland inventory data, at the national and subnational level, from a variety of sources. Then we use our 1992 cropland data within a simple land cover change model, along with the historical inventory data, to reconstruct global 5 min resolution data on permanent cropland areas from 1992 back to 1700. The reconstructed changes in historical croplands are consistent with the history of human settlement and patterns of economic development. By overlaying our historical cropland data set over a newly derived potential vegetation data set, we analyze our results in terms of the extent to which different natural vegetation types have been converted for agriculture. We further examine the extent to which croplands have been abandoned in different parts of the world. Our data sets could be used within global climate models and global ecosystem models to understand the impacts of land cover change on climate and on the cycling of carbon and water. Such an analysis is a crucial aid to sharpen our thinking about a sustainable future.
Global Biogeochemical Cycles – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 1999
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera