Planet Under Pressure commissioned a 3-minute animated film showing the last 250 years of our history, from the start of the Industrial Revolution to the Rio+20 Summit. The film charts the growth of humanity into a global force on an equivalent scale to major geological processes. Whether you agree with the filmmakers’ conclusions or not (comment below), I suspect you’ll admit that it’s a pretty cool piece of animation:

Welcome to the Anthropocene

From AstroBiology Magazine: The Earth is alive, asserts a new scientific theory of life emerging from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. The trans-disciplinary theory demonstrates that purportedly inanimate, non-living objects…

Is this where humankind will be living in a couple millenia? In a solar system 600 light years away spins the newly-spotted Kebler 22-b, a rocky planet with oceans covering two-thirds of…

Space JunkVia the BBC:

Scientists in the US have warned NASA that the amount of so-called space junk orbiting Earth is at tipping point. A report by the National Research Council says the debris could cause fatal leaks in spaceships or destroy valuable satellites.

It calls for international regulations to limit the junk and more research into the possible use of launching large magnetic nets or giant umbrellas. The debris includes clouds of minuscule fragments, old boosters and satellites.

Some computer models show the amount of orbital rubbish “has reached a tipping point, with enough currently in orbit to continually collide and create even more debris, raising the risk of spacecraft failures,” the research council said in a statement on Thursday.

Michael Reilly reports in the New Scientist: An asteroid 300 metres in diameter is stalking the Earth. Hiding in the pre-dawn twilight, it has marched in lockstep with our planet for years,…

Radio BroadcastsLook for the tiny blue dot for our impact. Adam Grossman writes about “The Tiny Humanity Bubble” on jackadamblog:

Mankind has been broadcasting radio waves into deep space for about a hundred years now — since the days of Marconi.

That, of course, means there is an ever-expanding bubble announcing Humanity’s presence to anyone listening in the Milky Way. This bubble is astronomically large (literally), and currently spans approximately 200 light years across.

But how big is this, really, compared to the size of the Galaxy in which we live (which is, itself, just one of countless billions of galaxies in the observable universe)?

SupercontinentAlasdair Wilkins on has a great post about the past and future of our planet’s continents. Definitely worth a read:

Earth’s continents are constantly changing, moving and rearranging themselves over millions of years — affecting Earth’s climate and biology. Every few hundred million years, the continents combine to create massive, world-spanning supercontinents.

Here’s the past and future of Earth’s supercontinets.

The Earth could lose more than one fifth of all known plants — forever! Story from the Guardian: One in five of the world’s plant species – the basis of all life…

Stacie Adams writes on Smirking Chimp: A week or two ago the internets were ablaze with the news that not only did famed physicist Stephen Hawking appear to believe in the existence…