Science & Technology
Did the Anthropocene epoch begin in 1950 ?
August 29, 2016 | 9 comments
Are we living in a new epoch ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 NikoLang
Scientists now believe that the Holocene epoch may have come to a close several decades ago.
Beginning around 9,700 years ago and encompassing the growth and impact of the human race worldwide, the Holocene epoch may actually have been over as far back as 1950 according to a major new international study which suggests that we are now living in the Anthropocene epoch.
The designation of this new period in Earth's history is intended to take in to account the way in which humanity is now affecting the planet on a global scale with issues such as climate change having a far-reaching impact on the environment in countries all over the world.
"Human action has certainly left traces on the earth for thousands of years, if you know where to look," said palaeobiologist Professor Jan Zalasiewicz.
"The difference between that and what has happened in the last century or so is that the impact is global and taking place at pretty much the same time across the whole Earth."
It may take several more years however for this new time period to be officially recognized.
"Being able to pinpoint an interval of time is saying something about how we have had an incredible impact on the environment of our planet," said geologist Professor Colin Waters. "The concept of the Anthropocene manages to pull all these ideas of environmental change together."
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