Researchers projected 20 nations that will have the largest ecological footprints in 2015, with the United States, China and India, topping the list. According to the study, the greatest absolute increase will occur with China and India, where both population and economic growth, represent 37 percent of the increase in the global human footprint.
"Increasing energy efficiency to counteract these impacts is feasible, but would need a focused international effort to succeed," say the researchers.
According to the study, one advantage to the rapid growth of these two nations is with the development of their infrastructures in the early 21st Century: China and India are positioned to invest in more efficient technologies.
"China would need to improve its technical efficiency at a rate of about 2.9 percent per year, and India by about 2.2 percent per year to offset the projected growth of their ecological footprints," say the scientists.
Amazonia revealed: forest degradation and the loss of ecosystem goods and services in the Amazon Basin
Also appearing in the February issue of Frontiers, researchers review newly revealed changes in the Amazon rainforests and the ecosystem services they provide.
The Amazon Basin is one of the world's most important bioregions, harboring rich array of plant and animal species and offering a wealth of goods and services to society. For years, ecological science has shown how large scale forest clearings cause declines in biodiversity and the availability of forest products. Yet some important changes in the rainforests, and in the ecosystem services they provide, have been underappreciated until recently.
Emerging research indicates land use in the Amazon goes far beyond clearing large areas of forest; selective logging and other canopy damage is much more pervasive than once beli
Source:Ecological Society of America