Carbon Consumption and the Earth's Carrying Capacity

On Dec. 14, 2010, NASA Goddard researchers will conduct a press briefing at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall 2010 meeting, entitled, "Satellite Supported Estimates of Human Rate of NPP Carbon Use on Land: Challenges Ahead. In the first measurement of this trend, the research showed humans are using an increasing amount of Earth's annual production of photosynthetic land plants and that consumption rose from 20 to 25 percent from 1995 to 2005.
link to gallery item Human Consumption of NPP

Human Consumption of NPP

Visualization: Human Consumption of Global Plant Production, 2005

This visualization illustrates the relationship between human acquistition of net primary productivity (HANPP) and net primary productivity itself (NPP). The data presented is the ratio of HANPP to NPP, which can be thought of as a measure of the sustainability of human consumption in a given area. This visualization uses a logarithmic scale, so each unit increase on the scale represents an increase of ten times the previous value.
link to gallery item Rotating Globe Version

Rotating Globe Version
link to gallery item Flatmap Version

Flatmap Version

Interview With Dr. Marc Imhoff

Click on the questions below to hear Dr. Marc Imhoff's answers.

Transcripts and larger versions can be found here.

    Does human consumption of NPP differ across the world?    
How does NPP relate to carbon budgets?     What are the implications of becoming more of a 'garden planet'?
  Could you go into more detail on your research methods? Exactly how many tons of plant carbon do people in North America use?