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Volume 9, issue 2
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 9, 927-953, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-9-927-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 9, 927-953, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-9-927-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Review article 01 Dec 2017

Review article | 01 Dec 2017

Anthropogenic land use estimates for the Holocene – HYDE 3.2

Kees Klein Goldewijk1,3, Arthur Beusen2,3, Jonathan Doelman3, and Elke Stehfest3 Kees Klein Goldewijk et al.
  • 1Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University, Utrecht, P.O. Box 80115, the Netherlands
  • 2Department of Earth Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, P.O. Box 80115, the Netherlands
  • 3PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, The Hague, the Netherlands

Abstract. This paper presents an update and extension of HYDE, the History Database of the Global Environment (HYDE version 3.2). HYDE is an internally consistent combination of historical population estimates and allocation algorithms with time-dependent weighting maps for land use. Categories include cropland, with new distinctions for irrigated and rain-fed crops (other than rice) and irrigated and rain-fed rice. Grazing lands are also provided, divided into more intensively used pasture and less intensively used rangeland, and further specified with respect to conversion of natural vegetation to facilitate global change modellers. Population is represented by maps of total, urban, rural population, population density and built-up area. The period covered is 10000 before Common Era (BCE) to 2015 Common Era (CE). All data can be downloaded from https://doi.org/10.17026/dans-25g-gez3.

We estimate that global population increased from 4.4 million people (we also estimate a lower range  < 0.01 and an upper range of 8.9 million) in 10000BCE to 7.257 billion in 2015CE, resulting in a global population density increase from 0.03 persons (or capita, in short cap)km−2 (range 0–0.07) to almost 56capkm−2 respectively. The urban built-up area evolved from almost zero to roughly 58Mha in 2015CE, still only less than 0.5% of the total land surface of the globe.

Cropland occupied approximately less than 1% of the global land area (13037Mha, excluding Antarctica) for a long time period until 1CE, quite similar to the grazing land area. In the following centuries the share of global cropland slowly grew to 2.2% in 1700CE (ca. 293Mha, uncertainty range 220–367Mha), 4.4% in 1850CE (578Mha, range 522–637Mha) and 12.2% in 2015CE (ca. 1591Mha, range 1572–1604Mha). Cropland can be further divided into rain-fed and irrigated land, and these categories can be further separated into rice and non-rice. Rain-fed croplands were much more common, with 2.2% in 1700CE (289Mha, range 217–361Mha), 4.2% (549Mha, range 496–606Mha) in 1850CE and 10.1% (1316Mha, range 1298–1325Mha) in 2015CE, while irrigated croplands used less than 0.05% (4.3Mha, range 3.1–5.5Mha), 0.2% (28Mha, range 25–31Mha) and 2.1% (277Mha, range 273–278Mha) in 1700, 1850 and 2015CE, respectively. We estimate the irrigated rice area (paddy) to be 0.1% (13Mha, range 9–16Mha) in 1700CE, 0.2% (28Mha, range 26–31Mha) in 1850CE and 0.9% (118Mha, range 117–120Mha) in 2015CE.

The estimates for land used for grazing are much more uncertain. We estimate that the share of grazing land grew from 5.1% in 1700CE (667Mha, range 507–820Mha) to 9.6% in 1850CE (1192Mha, range 1068–1304Mha) and 24.9% in 2015CE (3241Mha, range 3211–3270Mha). To aid the modelling community we have divided land used for grazing into more intensively used pasture, less intensively used converted rangeland and less or unmanaged natural unconverted rangeland. Pasture occupied 1.1% in 1700CE (145Mha, range 79–175Mha), 1.9% in 1850CE (253Mha, range 218–287Mha) and 6.0% (787Mha, range 779–795Mha) in 2015CE, while rangelands usually occupied more space due to their occurrence in more arid regions and thus lower yields to sustain livestock. We estimate converted rangeland at 0.6% in 1700CE (82Mha range 66–93Mha), 1% in 1850CE (129Mha range 118–136Mha) and 2.4% in 2015CE (310Mha range 306–312Mha), while the unconverted natural rangelands occupied approximately 3.4% in 1700CE (437Mha, range 334–533Mha), 6.2% in 1850CE (810Mha, range 733–881Mha) and 16.5% in 2015CE (2145Mha, range 2126–2164Mha).

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This is an update of HYDE, which is an internally consistent combination of historical population estimates and time-dependent land use allocation algorithms for 10 000 BCE–2015 CE. Categories include cropland, separated into irrigated and rain-fed rice and non-rice crops. Grazing lands are divided into more intensely used pasture and less intensively used rangelands. Population includes total, urban, and rural population and population density and built-up area.
This is an update of HYDE, which is an internally consistent combination of historical...
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