The Library of Congress > Linked Data Service > LC Subject Headings (LCSH)

Geology, Stratigraphic--Anthropocene


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    • Anthropocene Epoch
  • Broader Terms

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  • Broader Concepts from Other Schemes

  • Sources

    • found: Work cat: 2015302844: A stratigraphical basis for the Anthropocene, 2014.
    • found: Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy, Working Group on the 'Anthropocene' site viewed August 9, 2016('Anthropocene'; term coined by Paul Crutzen and Eugene Stoermer in 2000 to denote the present time interval, in which many geologically significant conditions and processes are profoundly altered by human activities, including changes in: erosion and sediment transport associated with some anthropogenic processes such as colonisation, agriculture, urbanisation and global warming - the chemical composition of the atmosphere, oceans and soils, with significant anthropogenic perturbations of the cycles of elements such as carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and various metals - environmental conditions generated by these perturbations; these include global warming, ocean acidification and spreading oceanic 'dead zones' - the biosphere both on land and in the sea, as a result of habitat loss, predation, species invasions and the physical and chemical changes noted above. 'Anthropocene' is not a formally defined geological unit within the Geological Time Scale. A proposal to formalise the 'Anthropocene' is being developed by the 'Anthropocene' Working Group for consideration by the International Commission on Stratigraphy, in 2016; currently being considered by the Working Group as a potential geological epoch, i.e. at the same hierarchical level as the Pleistocene and Holocene epochs, with the implication that it is within the Quaternary Period, but that the Holocene has terminated; alternatively, it could be considered at a lower (Age) hierarchical level; that would imply it is a subdivision of the ongoing Holocene Epoch. To be accepted as a formal term the 'Anthropocene' needs to be (a) scientifically justified (i.e. the 'geological signal' currently being produced in strata now forming must be sufficiently large, clear and distinctive) and (b) useful as a formal term to the scientific community. In terms of (b), the currently informal term 'Anthropocene' has already proven to be very useful to the global change research community and thus will continue to be used, but it remains to be determined whether formalisation within the Geological Time Scale would make it more useful or broaden its usefulness to other scientific communities, such as the geological community. The beginning of the 'Anthropocene' is most generally considered to be at c. 1800 CE, around the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in Europe (Crutzen's original suggestion); other potential candidates for time boundaries have been suggested, at both earlier dates (within or even before the Holocene) or later (e.g. at the start of the nuclear age). A formal 'Anthropocene' might be defined either with reference to a particular point within a stratal section, that is, a Global Stratigraphic Section and Point (GSSP), colloquially known as a 'golden spike; or, by a designated time boundary (a Global Standard Stratigraphic Age))
    • found: Smithsonian magazine, Jan. 2013; viewed online Sept. 7, 2016(Stromberg, Joseph. What is the Anthropocene and Are We in It?)
    • found: Inverse, viewed online Sept. 7, 2016(Ronson, Jacqueline. Hungry for chicken and nukes, humans pushed Earth into a new Epoch: the Anthropocene is the real deal. Did humans end the Holocene epoch? A panel of experts convened by the International Commission on Stratigraphy thinks so. The stratigraphers involved overwhelmingly agreed that the Anthropocene is the real deal, and it probably started around 1950. The group will present the proof to the ICS for official ratification. The clear indicators that indicate the boundary of epochs between the Holocene and the Anthropocene include the concentration of chicken bones, the appearance of plastic rocks, and the presence of radioactivity associated with the proliferation of nuclear weapons testing)
  • Change Notes

    • 2016-08-09: new
    • 2016-11-09: revised
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