The Geological and Earth System Reality of the Anthropocene

Current Anthropology, Vol 59, No 2, 2018, pp. 220-223.

This article is a contribution to the debate on the Anthropocene in the Forum on Public Anthropology. It explains the stratigraphic and Earth system science definitions of the Anthropocene, including the importance of acknowledging the complex-system nature of our ocean-dominated planet in defining the Anthropocene. A shift of the Earth as a complex system began around the mid-20th century. This decisive human impact on the complex-system shift, which has impacted the state of the Earth system as a whole, should not be confused with earlier phases of varying degrees of human environmental influence, such as with the emergence of agriculture. This confusion has long surrounded the Anthropocene concept.



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