A Global Map of Human Impacts to Marine Ecosystems

Five years ago an NCEAS Working Group published the first global assessment of cumulative human impacts on the ocean in Science on February 15, 2008. The findings, related maps, and openly available data soon became one of the most highly cited NCEAS research efforts. The first assessment showed where cumulative impact was greatest and least and which human activities were driving these results. Missing from this initial analysis and all subsequent work was a picture of how and why those cumulative impacts change over time.

The goal of our most recent research presented here is to provide an update on the global assessment five years later and to calculate and map globally the spatial and temporal changes since the original assessment in 2008. Our aim is for these results to help assess the effectiveness of past management and conservation actions and guide future management efforts.

Shown below and throughout this website are the changes in global cumulative human impacts on the ocean from 2008 to 2013. These results were published July 14, 2015 in Nature Communications.