Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Anthropocene

Hi Everyone,

In class today, our guest speaker asked our class if we were familiar with the term "the anthropocene". I only noticed a few other hands go up besides my own. Her definition was accurate, but brief. For people who do not know, the anthropocene is a term created recently to describe the new geological epoch humans are creating. An epoch is a term used to describe a time in the geological history of our earth. It is similar to the term "period" and "age". Epochs are mainly separated by major differences in our biosphere over millions of years. For example, our most recent ice age is considered an epoch. The warming of our earth to current temperatures has its own epoch as well, called the Holocene Epoch. The new term "The Anthropocene" was created to describe how our planet is physically changing again, but from humans instead of natural causes. This term is quite controversial for scientists who do not believe in global warming and the effects of overpopulation. The Anthropocene is associated with animals as species are going extinct at skyrocketing levels. I attached a short article from the Smithsonian magazine for anyone who wants more information on the debate about whether humans are creating a new epoch or not.

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