SparcS Center


Hothouse Earth paper attracts global attention in hot summer

On August 14th our paper “Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene” came out. Within two weeks the scientific abstract had been downloaded a quarter of a million times and about 230 news articles were published on it. This astonishing interest was no doubt due in part to the extreme heatwave that struck much of the Northern hemisphere. A coincidence, because we had been working on the manuscript for over two years. Below is a 2016 sketch for the central figure from Marten’s notebook. While the figure and the core idea of the paper remained largely unaltered over the subsequent years of work, the text went through countless rounds of modifications under the patient leadership of Will Steffen. Although this was obviously taking much a bit long in our eyes, the timing in the end resulted in an impact we might never have had, if it would not be for the climatic extremes coinciding with its publishing date. The paper is open access:


07 Sep 2018

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