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Goodbye Holocene, Hello Anthropocene

A movement to declare the 10,000-year-old Holocene Epoch as finished is gaining steam amongst scientists. Nobel Prize-winning chemist Paul Crutzen suggested in 2000 that human activity was altering the planet sufficiently to rate a new epoch, and a couple of recent papers are giving the idea momentum.

Among the major changes heralding this two-century-old man-made epoch:

  • Vastly altered sediment erosion and deposition patterns.

  • Major disturbances to the carbon cycle and global temperature.

  • Wholesale changes in biology, from altered flowering times to new migration patterns.

  • Acidification of the ocean, which threatens tiny marine life that forms the bottom of the food chain.


Posted in News, Science January 29th, 2008 by Chip
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