Three centuries of increasing agriculture tracked: Each grid
square was 10 kilometres across and showed the most prevalent land use.
The current map shows a snapshot of global land use for 2000, but the
scientists also have land use data going back to 1700, showing how
things have changed. “The maps show, very strikingly that a large part
of our planet (roughly 40 per cent) is being used for either growing
crops or grazing cattle,” said Navin Ramankutty, a member of the team.
By comparison, only 7 per cent of the world’s land was being used for
agriculture in 1700.
Massive clearing of the Amazon: The Amazon basin has experienced
some of the greatest changes, with huge areas of the rainforest being
felled to grow soya beans. “One of the major changes we see is the fast
expansion of soybeans in Brazil and Argentina, grown for export to
China and the EU,” Dr Ramankutty said.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 7/12/2005, p. 13
Source: Erisk – www.erisk.net