Mankind’s technological impact on the planet put to the test

Posted by ap507 at Jun 09, 2014 10:51 AM |
Geologists suggest human phenomenon lies at the heart of the Anthropocene
Mankind’s technological impact on the planet put to the test

Source: Wikipedia; The Earth at night, a composited night-time image of the world during the anthropocene

A new volume edited by Dr Jan Zalasiewicz and Professor Mark Williams from the Department of Geology discusses how mankind has left its mark on the planet and examines the evidence to suggest that we are now living in a new epoch – the Anthropocene, in which humans have changed the global landscape in which we live.

For geologists to change the Geological Time Scale is an enormous step as the time scale is over 4.5 billion years long and stands as the backbone of the science. While the ruins of ancient cities show that human traces go back millennia, the extraordinary post-war ‘Great Acceleration’ of planet-scale human impact suggests that the Anthropocene may have begun not more than 70 years ago.

The volume discusses the challenges resting with the scientific community to show if this sudden acceleration in global development equates to living in a new epoch, or is simply a continuation of the constantly evolving Holocene.     

‘A Stratigraphical Basis for the Anthropocene’ was published on Wednesday 4 June 2014 by The Geological Society and is available here.

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