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Title    Geologists Reject Declaration of ‘Human Era’ in Earth’s Timeline
Date    Monday March 25, @01:21PM
Author    hubie
Topic   
from the dept.
https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=24/03/24/0419223

upstart writes:

Scientists argued that mankind had been reshaping the planet long before the 1950s:

A top panel of geologists has decided not to grant Anthropocene, or 'human age', its own distinct place in Earth's geological timeline after disagreeing over when exactly the era might have begun.

After 15 years of deliberation, a team of scientists made the case that humankind has so fundamentally altered the natural world that a new phase of Earth's existence – a new epoch – has already begun.

Soaring greenhouse gases, the spread of microplastics, decimation of other species, and fallout from nuclear tests – all were submitted as evidence that the world entered the Anthropocene in the mid-20th century.

But the proposal was rejected in a contentious vote that has been upheld by the International Union of Geological Sciences, the field's governing body said in a statement published on its website on March 21.

[...] Despite this, the Anthropocene would endure as a widely used term: "It will remain an invaluable descriptor of human impact on the Earth system," the union said.

In 2009 scientists began an enquiry that ultimately concluded that the Holocene epoch – which began 11,700 years ago as the last ice age ended – gave way to the Anthropocene around 1950.

They gathered a trove of evidence to show this, including traces of radioactive material found in the layered sediment of lakes, the global upheaval of plants and animals, and omnipresent "forever chemicals".

But opponents argued mankind had been reshaping the planet long before the 1950s, pointing to defining moments like the advent of farming and the industrial revolution.

[...] "I feel this has been a missed opportunity to recognise and endorse a simple reality, that our planet left its natural functioning state in the mid-20th century," Dr Head, a professor of earth sciences at Brock University in Canada, told AFP.

There was no disagreement that 'the age of man' had resulted in profound planetary changes, said Dr Erle Ellis, an environmental scientist critical of the Anthropocene proposal.

But scientists weren't convinced this impact represented an epoch, no less one that definitively began only seven decades ago, said Dr Ellis, professor of geography and environmental systems at the University of Maryland.

"The truth is, there was never a need for a firm boundary. It just wasn't the critical thing," he told AFP earlier this month after the proposal was first voted down.

Previously:
    • Human Made Materials Now Outweigh Earth's Entire Biomass
    • Anthropocene Angst and Godzilla's Growth
    • The Latest Chapter in Earth's History: The Meghalayan Age
    • For the Second Time, We Are Witnessing a New Geological Epoch: The Anthropocene


Original Submission

Links

  1. "upstart" - https://soylentnews.org/~upstart/
  2. "Scientists argued that mankind had been reshaping the planet long before the 1950s" - https://www.straitstimes.com/world/europe/geologists-reject-declaration-of-human-era-in-earth-s-timeline
  3. "Human Made Materials Now Outweigh Earth's Entire Biomass" - https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=20/12/19/2311213
  4. "Anthropocene Angst and Godzilla's Growth" - https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=19/06/09/1648204
  5. "The Latest Chapter in Earth's History: The Meghalayan Age" - https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=18/07/21/0046219
  6. "For the Second Time, We Are Witnessing a New Geological Epoch: The Anthropocene" - https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=16/01/13/0216243
  7. "Original Submission" - https://soylentnews.org/submit.pl?op=viewsub&subid=62396

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