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Defining the Anthropocene - NASA/ADS

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NASA/ADS

Defining the Anthropocene

Abstract

Time is divided by geologists according to marked shifts in Earth's state. Recent global environmental changes suggest that Earth may have entered a new human-dominated geological epoch, the Anthropocene. Here we review the historical genesis of the idea and assess anthropogenic signatures in the geological record against the formal requirements for the recognition of a new epoch. The evidence suggests that of the various proposed dates two do appear to conform to the criteria to mark the beginning of the Anthropocene: 1610 and 1964. The formal establishment of an Anthropocene Epoch would mark a fundamental change in the relationship between humans and the Earth system.


Publication:
Nature
Pub Date:
March 2015
DOI:
10.1038/nature14258
Bibcode:
2015Natur.519..171L
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