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What is the state of our planet, its health and the impact humans have had upon it? Based on maps from the Atlas of Global Conservation, Scientific American brings you the global perspective on our planet in this multimedia presentation.


This is the Earth. We share this planet with nearly two million species of plants and animals. At least, that's how many have been identified so far. Scientists still routinely discover new species.

As the following maps from the Atlas of Global Conservation reveal, humans are responsible for some 140,000 species disappearing each year. That's why some scientists call the present era the Anthropocene, or the era of humanity. We are the dominant force on the planet—for good and for ill.

One of the primary reasons for this is numbers. At the beginning of the 20th century, there were only one and half billion people on the planet. Today, there are nearly seven billion. Population growth rates have slowed, but we can expect nine billion people by 2050.

To read the full, original article click on this link: State of the Planet: A Snapshot [Audio Slide Show]: Scientific American

Author: Scientific American