Johan Rockström and colleagues propose a new approach for defining preconditions for human development and predict that crossing certain biophysical thresholds could have disastrous consequences Continue reading
Just when (and how) did humans begin influencing the planetary system? Recent posts on this blog – notably those by Zev and Stephen on creation myths, Noah’s on cosmopolitanism, and David’s on Holocene climate – have spurred me to think about how delimiting a chronological date on the start of the Anthropocene influences how we think about habitability. Here I present some musings.
As initially conceived by non-archaeologists, the start of the Anthropocene was placed Continue reading
The Holocene, as depicted in Figure 1 below, is formally the current geological epoch and represents the previous ∼11,500 calendar years to present. During the Holocene, environmental change occurred naturally and Earth’s regulatory capacity maintained the conditions that enabled human development. Regular temperatures, freshwater availability and biogeochemical flows all stayed predominately in a narrow range. Now, in the primeval stages of the Anthropocene, human activities have reached Continue reading