The Start of the Anthropocene

Editorials News | Aug-30-2016

The Start of the Anthropocene


Holocene the 11,700 year old geological epoch has cut short the human impact on Earth’s chemistry and climate and has ushered in a new one.

The International Geological Congress in Cape Town, South Africa has recommended that the “new age of man” known as Anthropocene, would start from mid 20th century if the recommendation is adopted.

The approval process will take at least two years and requires endorsement by three other educational bodies. After seven years of hard work, 35 strong Working Group has collectively acknowledged the Anthropocene as a reality. The recommendation has been voted 30 to 3 for the changeover to be officially registered.

Scientists stated that “If adopted – and we are a long way from that – the Holocene would finish and the Anthropocene would formally be held to have begun”. Scientists have referred to the period starting from 1950 as the “Great Acceleration”.

From the mid-century onwards concentration in the air of carbon dioxide, methane and stratospheric ozone, surface temperatures, ocean acidification, marine fish harvesting, and tropical forest loss and population growth, construction of dams have started.

These measures are not allowed to be taken in the consideration by the working group unless they are illustrated in the geological record. It is not counted if it’s not measured in rocks, lake sediments or ice cores.


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