Fast Company's Ben Schiller reports that "Earth Overshoot Day"—a date calculated by how much "annual demand on nature exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year" by California research group the Global Footprint Network—is being reached earlier and earlier each year.
This year, it landed on August 8 (today). Last year, it fell on August 13. According to the research group, faster-approaching date signifies how humanity is running through its ecological budget at an ever-faster rate. In 2000, the date was still in September.
GFN blames the shortening horizon on population growth, rising carbon emissions from energy production, and mismanagement of our oceans and forests. It calculates how much of the world's area is taken up with ocean and forest and then what the absorption rate is for CO2 from those stretches. Each ton of CO2 that's sequestered doesn't go into the atmosphere causing climate change.