We are living in the age of humans, a time referred to by many as the Anthropocene.
Our species has caused huge changes on our planet, including global warming, ocean acidification, and habitat destruction.
Earth's ecology is in a critical state. But we have the tools to understand what is happening, and what needs to be done.
The issues explained
How have humans changed the planet? And why does it matter? Let Museum scientists take you through the facts.
Our Broken Planet: How We Got Here and Ways to Fix It
Tune into a year-long season of activity exploring why and how our relationship with the natural world needs to change.
Learn more about how human actions have shaped our planet and hear from people around the world who are working towards a more sustainable future. Browse the stories below or join one of our free online events.
Drug pollution is threatening the water quality of the world's rivers
Over 40% of the world's rivers could contain harmful levels of pharmaceuticals.6 July 2022
Demand for exotic pets risks spider and scorpion extinctions
Scientists have called for greater protections for species which are at risk of being collected into extinction.19 May 2022
Avoiding the worst of climate change is possible if we act now
We have just three years to keep the dream of 1.5⁰C of global warming alive.4 April 2022
Treaty to end plastic pollution moves a step closer
175 countries voted to start preparations for a new treaty aimed at regulating and controlling plastics last week.8 March 2022
Biodiversity is the incredible variety and volume of life on Earth, and the habitats and ecosystems the support it. It allows us all to live healthy lives.
Humans have been around for a very short period of time - but we have still managed to cause a lot of damage. Our actions have disrupted the balance of life on Earth, through:
Hope for the future
Hope isn't lost. If we all work together, we can help our planet recover. Celebrate the latest success stories.
Kākāpō are large, flightless parrots that were once widespread across New Zealand but hunted to near extinction. Thanks to highly specialised conservation efforts, these unique birds are slowly bouncing back.
We have declared a planetary emergency. Our 300 scientists are working on understanding our past so we can protect our future.
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing humanity. Find out more about global warming, greenhouse gases and fossil fuels. Discover what we're doing to help understand and mitigate their effects.
Plastics have permeated almost every part of our planet, including uninhabited islands and the deepest parts of the ocean. Find out the effect plastic has on nature and us.
Endangered species and extinction
Extinction rates are accelerating all over the world. Find out which species are most at risk.
Mining for natural resources has changed the face of our planet. Read more about mining for fossil fuels, precious metals and critical elements, the effects on nature and how we can power our world more sustainably.
The World Health Organisation estimates that man-made air pollution kills about seven million worldwide every year. Find out more about the causes and effects of air pollution.