“When did the Anthropocene begin? A mid-twentieth century boundary level is stratigraphically optimal”

CITATION:
Zalasiewicz, J., et al., 2015. Quaternary International, 383, pp. 196-203.
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ABSTRACT:
We evaluate the boundary of the Anthropocene geological time interval as an epoch, since it is useful to have a consistent temporal definition for this increasingly used unit, whether the presently informal term is eventually formalized or not. Continue reading

“A Safe Operating Space for Humanity”

THIS POST IS PART OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE ANTHROPOCENE PROJECT—SEE THIS DESCRIPTION OF OUR SUBMISSION.
CITATION:
Rockström, J. et al. 2009. Nature, Vol. 461, pp. 472-475.
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ABSTRACT:

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

“Shell middens and other anthropogenic soils as global stratigraphic signatures of the Anthropocene”

CITATION:
Jon M. Erlandson. 2013. Anthropocene, 4, pp. 24-32.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
Evidence for aquatic foraging, fishing, and scavenging by hominins dates back at least two million years, but aquatic resource use intensified with Continue reading

Pitfalls and potentials in dating the onset of the Anthropocene

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

A discourse on habitability: The Anthropocene as ecological dyad

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