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Are we living in the Anthropocene.

Zalasiewicz, Jan and Gibbard, Phil and Waters, Colin and Gregory, F.J. and Barry, T.L. and Bown, P.R and Brenchley, P. and Cantrill, D.J. and Coe, A.L. and Cope, J.C.W and Knox, R and Gale, A. and Hounslow, M. W. and Marshall, J. and Powell, J. and Oates, M. and Smith, A. and Stone, P. and Rawson, P. and Trewin, N. and Williams, M. (2008) Are we living in the Anthropocene. GSA Today, 18 (2). pp. 4-8. ISSN 1052-5173

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Abstract

The term Anthropocene, proposed and increasingly employed to denote the current interval of anthropogenic global environmental change, may be discussed on stratigraphic grounds. A case can be made for its consideration as a formal epoch in that, since the start of the Industrial Revolution, Earth has endured changes sufficient to leave a global stratigraphic signature distinct from that of the Holocene or of previous Pleistocene interglacial phases, encompassing novel biotic, sedimentary, and geochemical change. These changes, although likely only in their initial phases, are sufficiently distinct and robustly established for suggestions of a Holocene–Anthropocene boundary in the recent historical past to be geologically reasonable. The boundary may be defined either via Global Stratigraphic Section and Point (“golden spike”) locations or by adopting a numerical date. Formal adoption of this term in the near future will largely depend on its utility, particularly to earth scientists working on late Holocene successions. This datum, from the perspective of the far future, will most probably approximate a distinctive stratigraphic boundary.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: GSA Today
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
ID Code: 13248
Deposited By: Dr Mark W. Hounslow
Deposited On: 15 Sep 2008 11:32
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2014 20:20
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/13248

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