If you look at a photo of earth from space it’s easy to think that what you see is how it’s always been. But the planet has changed more in the last 100 years – thanks to man – than ever before. And Canadian scientist FelixPharand has mapped man’s impact on the planet in a stunning video.
At the start of the 20th century there was little to show for man’s impact on the globe, but in the last century – a period FelixPharand and the scientific community refer to as Anthropocene, meaning ‘Human Current’ – man has changed planet Earth more than ever before.
Pharand has been busy gathering data from around the world on cities, transport, pipelines, roads and air routes to compile a globe that shows the impact of man on planet earth. It’s taken him 13 years to compile and looks like a CGI for a sci-fi movie, but every road and communication route shown is real.
Pharand admits that the work is impressionist in style as it doesn’t follow the rules of cartography on scale and legend, but it is a stunning illustration of how we’ve managed to change our planet.
And with the population of planet earth expected to more than double to 16 billion by the end of the 21st century – and our continuing love affair with the car – we wonder how much of the Earth will be under tarmac by that time.
At the moment it’s an area the size of India – or 3 per cent of the Earth’s surface – but could easily double by the year 2100.
(Tip: Watch the video below in full screen)
Anthropocene Cartography Video