An Age of Trump in the Anthropocene Epoch?

Stratigraphy is the science of rock strata; in geological terms, this translates to the science of time. But what IS time? Difficult to define, for certain, but most of us can agree that it marks the passage of events. We experience the passage of Continue reading

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Hypothesized Hope

THIS POST IS PART OF OUR ANTHROPOCENE BIOSPHERE PROJECT–A SERIES OF POSTS ON ERLE ELLIS’ ‘ECOLOGY IN AN ANTHROPOGENIC BIOSPHERE‘ (ECOLOGICAL MONOGRAPHS, 85/3 (2015))

In preparation for Erle Ellis’ visit to OU’s campus in April, I’ve spent some time considering topics I hope we can address during his visit. Continue reading

“The Global Carbon Cycle: A Test of Our Knowledge of Earth as a System”

CITATION:
P. Falkowski et al. 2000. Science, vol. 290, pp. 291-296.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
Motivated by the rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 due to human activities since the Industrial Revolution, several international scientific research programs have analyzed the role of Continue reading

The Dust of Civilization

THIS POST IS PART OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE ANTHROPOCENE PROJECT—SEE THIS DESCRIPTION OF OUR SUBMISSION.

In an earlier post, I emphasized the strong link between the origins of agriculture and the positions of loess (loosely “dust”) regions—arguing in essence that, from dust arises life. If loess bestows habitation and habitability, then loess paved the way for Continue reading

“Loess: The Yellow Earth”

THIS POST IS PART OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE ANTHROPOCENE PROJECT—SEE THIS DESCRIPTION OF OUR SUBMISSION.
CITATION:
Smalley, I., and Rogers, C. 1996. Geology Today, Vol. 12, No. 5, pp. 186-193.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
A wind-deposited silt forming large deposits in China and middle America, loess is the basis of much grade-one agricultural land, and has sourced the building materials for civilizations. Produced largely as a result of Continue reading

“An anthropogenic marker horizon in the future rock record”

CITATION:
Corcoran, P.L., Moore, C.J., and Jazvac, K. 2014. GSA Today, Vol. 24, No. 6, pp. 4-8.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
Recognition of increasing plastic debris pollution over the last several decades has led to investigations of the imminent dangers posed to Continue reading

Earth, Life, and Time: What is Natural?

Life on Earth has always altered its environment.1 “Deep” time records major shifts in atmospheric composition, for example, as life evolved photosynthesis, leading to a massive transfer of CO2 from the atmosphere to the biosphere. Given this, is the large-scale injection into the atmosphere of anthropogenically released carbon a completely natural consequence of biotic activity?

Atmospheric levels of CO2 have always changed, attributable in part to life — and well before the influence of humans. On geologic time scales such fluctuation results from Continue reading