Thursday, 11 June 2009
Even with our communal love of labelling things and delight in buzz words, this term appears to have been around for the last eight years but doesn't seem to have really taken off.
Perhaps because in creating a new 'age', 'period' or 'epoch' it implies that global warming is here for a long, long time and (although realistic) that is a very uncomfortable thought for many.
Robert Cahalan, climatologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center speaking to Science Daily in May 2008:
"Over recent decades, however, we have moved into a human-dominated climate that some have termed the Anthropocene. The major change in Earth's climate is now really dominated by human activity, which has never happened before."
According to Encyclopaedia Britannica online:
geologic time unofficial interval of geologic time characterized by the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere resulting from the onset of organized human industrial activity. Although the modern period of Earth's history is conventionally defined as residing within the Holocene Epoch (11,800 years ago to the present), some scientists have argued that the Holocene terminated in the relatively recent past. They contend that Earth currently resides in a climatic interval during which humans have exerted a dominant influence over climate. The onset of the Anthropocene Epoch, so-named by Dutch chemist Paul Crutzen, is said to be coincident with the creation of the steam engine by Scottish inventor James Watt in 1784.