December 2, 2010

New Geological Era?

Are humans having such a potent effect on the planet that we are entering a new era? Some say we are already in that era:

The term anthropocene is used by some scientists to describe the current period in the Earth's history when human activities have had a significant global impact on the Earth's ecosystems. It has no precise start date, but may be considered to start with the Industrial Revolution (late 18th century).[1] Other commentators link it to earlier events, such as the rise of agriculture. The term was coined in 2000 by the Nobel Prize-winning atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen, who regards the influence of human behavior on the Earth in recent centuries as so significant as to constitute a new geological era. Use of this concept as an official geological concept gained support in early 2008, with publication of two new papers supporting the idea.


Wikipeida Anthopocene

1. Crutzen, P. J., and E. F. Stoermer (2000). "The 'Anthropocene'". Global Change Newsletter 41: 17–18.
2. a b Zalasiewicz, Jan; et al. (February 2008). "Are we now living in the Anthropocene?". GSA Today 18 (2): 4–8.


1 comment:

libhom said...

It's good to see that some Geologists are catching up to the disturbing facts on the ground. I've heard that the Sahara Desert may be the result of bad agricultural practices by ancient civilizations.