With their mark on Earth, humans may name era too

With their mark on Earth, humans may name era too
This handout image provided by NASA, taken in 2012, shows citylights worldwide. People are changing Earth so much with global warming and other pollution that many scientists are turning to a new way to describe the time we live in. They're calling it the Anthropocene _ the age of humans. Most non-experts don't realize it, but science calls the time we live in the Holocene, Greek for "entirely recent." The Holocene started nearly 12,000 years ago. But the way humans and their industries are altering the planet, especially its climate, have caused an increasing number of scientists to use the word Anthropocene to better describe when and where we are. (AP Photo/NASA)
(AP)—People are changing Earth so much, warming and polluting it, that many scientists are turning to a new way to describe the time we live in. They're calling it the Anthropocene (AN'-thruh-poh-seen)—the age of humans.

Though most non-experts don't realize it, science calls the past 12,000 years the Holocene, Greek for "entirely recent." But the way humans and their industries are altering the planet, especially its climate, has caused an increasing number of to use the word "Anthropocene."

More than 500 scientific studies have been published this year referring to the current time period as the Anthropocene.

On Friday the Anthropocene Working Group ramps up its efforts to change the era's name with a meeting at a Berlin museum.


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Citation: With their mark on Earth, humans may name era too (2014, October 14) retrieved 16 June 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-10-earth-humans-era.html
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Oct 14, 2014
Makes sense. All the other geologic time scales are marked by climate change, changes in the chemistry of the geology, oceans, or atmosphere, evolutionary development, or extinction events.
We got all those features now, and its probably a turning point in the future of this planet, it'll definitely never be the same as it was. I wouldn't really even mark the line at 12,000, but when agriculture was discovered.

Oct 14, 2014
Although there are good reasons to dedicate the human era with a name in the geologic chronology, climate is quite unlikely one of those. We don't know how long the human impact on climate will last, and we're in the middle of an era with drastic climate changes anyway (alternation of ice ages).

Good reasons are species extinctions, production of large amounts of human artifacts that will probably remain in geological layers, and human-induced intercontinental exchanges, such as the Colombian exchange.

And if the Singularity happens, the Anthropocene will be seen as a crisis period that will end the Phanerozoic.

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