Anthropocene

Discussion in 'Environment' started by Old Rocks, May 26, 2011.

  1. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Discussion.

    Human influence comes of age : Nature News

    Human influence comes of age
    Geologists debate epoch to mark effects of Homo sapiens.

    Nicola Jones

    Humanity's profound impact on this planet is hard to deny, but is it big enough to merit its own geological epoch? This is the question facing geoscientists gathered in London this week to debate the validity and definition of the 'Anthropocene', a proposed new epoch characterized by human effects on the geological record.

    "We are in the process of formalizing it," says Michael Ellis, head of the climate-change programme of the British Geological Survey in Nottingham, who coordinated the 11 May meeting. He and others hope that adopting the term will shift the thinking of policy-makers. "It should remind them of the global and significant impact that humans have," says Ellis.

    But not everyone is behind the idea. "Some think it premature, perhaps hubristic, perhaps nonsensical," says Jan Zalasiewicz, a stratigrapher at the University of Leicester, UK, and a co-convener of the meeting. Zalasiewicz, who declares himself "officially very firmly sitting on the fence", also chairs a working group investigating the proposal for the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) — the body that oversees designations of geological time.

    The term Anthropocene was first coined in 2000 by Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen, now at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany, and his colleagues. It then began appearing in peer-reviewed papers as if it were a technical term rather than scientific slang.
     
  2. Trakar
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    A few References for those interested.

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    Crossland, C.J., Kremer, H.H., Lindeboom, H.J., Marshall Crossland, J.I. & Le Tissier, M.D.A., Eds. (2005). Coastal Fluxes in the Anthropocene. Berlin, Germany: Springer. CrossRef

    Crutzen, P.J. (2002). Geology of man. Nature, 415,23. CrossRef, PubMed, CSA

    Crutzen, P.J. & Steffen, W. (2003). How long have we been in the Anthropocene era? Climatic Change, 61, 251–257. CrossRef, CSA

    Crutzen, P.J. & Stoermer, E.F. (2000). The Anthropocene. Global Change Newsletter, 17–18. Available at http://www.igbp.net/documents/resources/NL_41.pdf

    Dirzo, R. & Raven, P.H. (2003). Global state of biodiversity and loss. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 28,137–167. CrossRef

    Erwin D.H. (2001). Lessons from the past: biotic recoveries from mass extinctions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 98, 1399–1403. Available at Lessons from the past: Biotic recoveries from mass extinctions

    International Union for Conservation of Nature. (2009). Red List of Threatened Species. The IUCN Species Survival Commission. Available at http://www.iucnredlist.org

    Jablonski, D. (1995). Extinctions in the fossil record. In R. M. May & J. H. Lawton (Eds.), Extinction Rates (pp. 25–44). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

    Jackson J.B.C. (2008). Ecological extinction and evolution in the brave new ocean. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105,11458–11465. Available at Ecological extinction and evolution in the brave new ocean abstract. CrossRef, PubMed

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    Mace, G., Masundire, H., Baillie, J. & others. (2005). Biodiversity. Chapter 4 in Hassan, H., Scholes, R. & Ash, N. (Eds.), Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Current State and Trends (pp. 77–122). Washington, DC: Island Press. Available at Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

    McDaniel, C.N. & Borton, D.N. (2002). Increased human energy use causes biological diversity loss and undermines prospects for sustainability. BioScience, 52, 926–936. BioOne
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    Palumbi, S.R. (2001). Humans as the world's greatest evolutionary force. Science, 293, 1786–1790. CrossRef, PubMed, CSA

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    Rockström, J., Steffen, W., Noone, K., Persson, Å., Chapin, F.S., Lambin, E.F. & others. (2009). A safe operating space for humanity. Nature, 461, 472–475. CrossRef, PubMed

    Rohr, J.R., Raffel, T.R., Romansic, J.M., McCallum, H. & Hudson, P.J. (2008). Evaluating the links between climate, disease spread, and amphibian declines. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105,11536–11542. Available at http://www.pnas.org/content/105/45/17436.full CrossRef, PubMed

    Rutherford, F.J. & Ahlgren, A. (1990). Science for All Americans. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Available at SFAA Table of Contents

    Steffen, W., Crutzen, P.J. & McNeill, J.R. (2007). The Anthropocene: are humans now overwhelming the great forces of nature? Ambio, 36, 614–621. BioOne, PubMed

    Steffen, W., Sanderson, A., Tyson, P.D., Jaeger, J., Matson, P.A., Moore, B., III & others. (2004). Global Change and the Earth System: A Planet under Pressure. Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag. [See the executive summary at: http://www.igbp.net/documents/IGBP_ExecSummary.pdf ]

    Syvitski, J.P.M., Vörösmarty, C.J., Kettner, A.J. & Green, P. (2005). Impact of humans on the flux of terrestrial sediment to the global coastal ocean. Science, 308, 376–380. CrossRef, PubMed

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    Zalasiewicz, J., Williams, M., Smith, A., Barry, T.L., Coe, A.L., Brown, P.R. & others. (2008). Are we now living in the Anthropocene?,GSA Today 18, 4–8. CrossRef

    Zalasiewicz, J., Williams, M., Steffen, W. & Crutzen, P. (2010). The new world of the Anthropocene. Environmental Science & Technology, 44, 2228–2231. CrossRef, PubMed

    Presently, the term “Anthropocene” remains informal.
    “The first (of many) formal steps are now being taken. An Anthropocene Working Group has been initiated, as part of the Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy (the body that deals with formal units of the current Ice Ages). That is itself part of the International Commission on Stratigraphy, in turn answerable to the International Union of Geological Sciences”
    (Zalasiewicz et al., 2010: p. 2228; for more information on this subject, see that publication).
     
  3. syrenn
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    syrenn BANNED

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    al gore will be SO disappointed its not named after him.

    The algoriean area....lmao.
     
  4. Mr. H.
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    Mr. H. Diamond Member

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    If the time scale of earth's geologic history were compressed to a calendar year, homo sapiens arrival took place about 11:30pm on Dec. 31.
     
  5. skookerasbil
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    skookerasbil Gold Member

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    We should just build a huge space ship and move off the planet.

    THEN the k00k left would be happy!!!

    Just like they'd only be happy if the Pentagon got totally defunded.

    HAPPY NOW!!!


    The k00ks live under this premise that there is a solution to EVERYTHING in life if we just have the collective will.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2011
  6. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    I think its a phrase that makes some kind of sense.

    LIFE has been changing the environment since the first day it arrived.

    Remember your biology teacher telling you about "the soup that ate itself"?

    There used to be NO free oxygen in the atmosphere, folks.

    The O2 we breathe today was created from our friends in the PLANT kingdom a billion years or so ago.

    The problem with LIFE altering the environment is that generally the life that take it on the neck is the life that is creating the problem.

    Usually the alteration stems from the life's waste slowly changing the environment.

    The problem with us is that the rate of change appears to be happening so damned fast..
     
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  7. skookerasbil
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    skookerasbil Gold Member

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    Make no mistake.........a time will come when mental cases like Rolling Thunder and Old Rocks will advocate building gigantic spaceships to ferry people to another planet in order to save the earth.

    [​IMG]


    Thats the way these people think.............just tax the rich and you can do anything!!!
     
  8. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    And that means what? What we are speaking of here is our altering the environment in a manner that makes it less livable for us. For most of geological time, we were not here. That is a fact. So that justifies creating a situation in which a substancial number of mankind will die because of our failing to control our own wastes?
     
  9. Mr. H.
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    [​IMG]

    Whoa relax. Just trying to put humankind's brief presence into perspective.

    But, no - I don't believe our presence merits its own geological epoch.
     
  10. Trakar
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    Trakar VIP Member

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    I'd, quite frankly, be surprised if we had been around that long, on this scale.

    Regardless, how do you feel this relates to, or is significant in regards to, either the Anthropocene, or Climate Change?
     

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