Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Are we living in the Anthropocene?

leave a comment »

Geologists at the University of Leicester, picking up on a proposal first made by chemist Paul Crutzen in 2002, now suggest that the Holocene epoch has ended. The new epoch, which they dub the Anthropocene, is the result of significant human actions. Its markers include disturbances to the carbon cycle and global termperature, ocean acidification, changes to sediment erosion and deposition, and species extinctions like those mentioned above.

The Anthropocene formally recognizes a widely perceived reality, the sharp line between the pre-industrial world and the technology-laden planet we now call home, awash with digital tools and freighted with the after-effects of industrial activity. And indeed, the cover of GSA Today (a publication of the Geological Society of America) in which this work appears makes the case rather strongly, showing the high-rise buildings of Shanghai fading out into the distance. It’s a stark reminder of how megacities like this one are transforming the planet… (Italicized text from the Centauri Dreams link. Via io9.)

Written by gerrycanavan

February 2, 2008 at 1:22 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: