Naming Of The Anthropocene Epoch: Move Is A Caution To Humanity

Naming Of The Anthropocene Epoch: Move Is A Caution To Humanity

Updated on 31 May, 2019

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Anthropocene Working Group (AWG) overwhelmingly voted to recognise Anthropocene as an epoch. This article will tell you about the Anthropocene Epoch. About Anthropocene Epoch

  • This term was coined in 2000 by the Nobel Laureate Paul Crutzen and Eugene F. Stoermer.
  • This epoch highlight how human activity had changed many facets of the earth.
  • Presently, a human will continue to live in Holocene epoch for a few years, before Anthropocene Epoch is finally ratified by the International Union of Geological Sciences
Significance
  • Official recognition to this term is a sad reminder to humans that if the ongoing destructive activities do not end, it will irrevocably change the face of the earth and make it uninhabitable.
  • After ratification, it will be for the first time that the beginning of an epoch would be based on human activity and not on nature.
  • For example, The start of the latest Holocene Epoch 11,700 years ago marks the end of the transition from the last glacial phase to a period of warming and a rise in sea level.
Geologic marker, or golden spike
  • To be chosen as a geologic marker, the golden spike must be present globally across most environments and must be a part of deposits for a geologically significant length of time.
  • To define the base of the Anthropocene, radionuclides from atomic bomb tests from the early 1950s.
  • Plutonium isotope Pu-239 with a half-life of 24,110 years will remain detectable for more than 1,00,000 years and continue to exist as uranium 235 when Pu-239 decays.
  • To define the base of Holocene, a decrease in deuterium excess, a proxy for climate change, owing to the reorganisation of North Atlantic Ocean-atmosphere circulation was a definitive geologic marker
Causes of Anthropocene Epoch Several human activities have changed the earth, such as:   
  • Increase in population
  • Agriculture
  • large-scale deforestation
  • the industrial revolution
  • increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide
  • creation of materials such as concrete and plastic
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