Welcome to the Anthropocene
World War You Too?
by Guest Blogger,
Tyler Kokjohn, Ph.D.
A group of experts believes Earth entered a new geologic epoch, the Anthropocene, around 1950 (1, 2). The hallmarks of this new age are radioactive fallout and other traces of human activities distributed across the entire world. Although the human influences on planet Earth have been profound, assigning a precise start date to an epoch is challenging, controversial and almost unprecedented.
Planet Earth and the life aboard her endured radical environmental changes before humans appeared. Some were so cataclysmic they left unmistakable fossil records of correlated mass extinction events. The full ramifications of the changes being unleased in the Anthropocene are uncertain. However, accumulating evidence suggests a sixth planetary mass extinction event, promoted by multiple factors including habitat destruction, careless releases of toxic contaminants and the predatory activities of humans, is well underway (3, 4).
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