The Anthropocene, which is argued to start in the mid-20th Century, is marked by the spread of materials such as aluminium, concrete, plastic, fly ash and fallout from nuclear testing across the planet, coincident with elevated greenhouse gas emissions and unprecedented trans-global species invasions.
    
An international group of scientists is studying whether human activity has driven Earth into a new geological epoch - the Anthropocene.
    
They analysed to what extent are human actions recorded as measurable signals in geological strata, and whether the Anthropocene world is markedly different from the stable Holocene Epoch of the last 11,700 years that allowed human civilisation to develop.
    
The proposed Anthropocene Epoch, however, is marked as a time of rapid environmental change brought on by the impact of a surge in human population and increased consumption during the 'Great Acceleration' of the mid-20th century.
    
The study conducted by an international group of geoscientists shows that humans have changed the Earth system sufficiently to produce a range of signals in sediments and ice, and these are sufficiently distinctive to justify recognition of an Anthropocene Epoch in the Geological Time Scale.

 

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