The group of experts working within the framework of the International Commission on Historiography, officially announced this week the launch of a new geological era – the Anthropocentric, the age of mankind, as the scientists reported at the International Geological Congress in Cape Town, South Africa.
The distinguishing feature of the Anthropocentric is that our collective action began to dominate the work of all the planet’s ecological mechanisms In fact, the Earth.
A giant space ship, the crew of which is humanity If we lived on a real spaceship, constant interference in the operation of its systems life support would be madness Home Anthropocentric tells us that we are playing with fire, Christopher Ripley from university college London (UK).
Ecologists, biologists and many other representatives of the natural sciences for more than half a century say about the occurrence Anthropocentric – a new geological and historical era in which the world began to dominate people. In favor of this put forward an array of arguments, relying on a sharp acceleration in the rate of extinction of animals and irreversible changes in ecosystems caused by human activity.
Such ideas in the past, and even today, cause a sharp rejection by geologists who do not believe that such processes can leave an imprint on the Earth’s rocks, capable of supporting our remote descendants and guests the world that a new era in this time associated with the development of our civilization.
The fact that geologists use two formal criterion for the separation of historical epochs – the presence of visible traces of long-term and long-term changes in rocks of this age, as well as traces of a rapid and transient global changes.
A striking example of this are the deposits on the boundary between the Cretaceous and Cenozoic, preserved the traces of a meteorite that killed the dinosaurs and caused global changes in the climate of the planet. These layers of rocks, signaling the change of epochs, geologists often called the golden nails, by analogy with symbolic crutches that industrial magnates of the XIX century were driven to tie the laying of new railways.
Since such a clear nail for the Anthropocentric does not exist, scientists who want to announce today its beginning, it is necessary to negotiate, what event in the history of humanity and the Earth will play its role. In this role, with varying degrees of success, today claims early 17th century, the mid-1950s and 1964.
This week the expert group on the historiography of the Quaternary period, work on this question, made a proposal to start a new geological era in the 50’s of last century, when industrial emissions and the radioactive dust, scattered nuclear tests on earth, were to generate notable for geologist’s traces in sedimentary rocks.
If you accept this definition, then the past geological epoch – the Holocene – which began after the last glaciation and stabilize the planet’s climate – will last only 11.5-12 thousand years. All of this, as one might expect, again, will cause controversy between geologists and other scientists, and the controversy surrounding the beginning of the Anthropocentric is likely to continue with new vigor.