Even if you don’t believe in climate change – which is a proven fact, by the way – you can’t really say that humanity hasn’t affected its environment. But how much did we affect it, anyway? According to a group of two dozen scientists, humanity brought on a new geologic epoch – the anthropocene age.
- Carbon dioxide emissions are rising 100 times faster than they did at any point in the past 800,000 years
- There is enough plastic produced each year to wrap up the entire planet
- As a species, we have poured over 500 billion tons of concrete, so much that we can cover the entire planet in a 1 kg per square meter layer
- Signs supporting the start of the new epoch began around 1950
- If we didn’t affect the environment so much, the current epoch would last another 50,000 years
The team formed of two dozen scientists, researchers, and academics worked on the paper published in the journal Science, and are sure that the direction we are heading is definitely the beginning of a new geological epoch.
All eras so far have been defined by natural processes; however this isn’t the case for the new one. The Anthropocene epoch is defined by how much we managed to affect the environment in the short time we were on the planet.
And as I mentioned before, this isn’t just some over-dramatic way of looking at things, these are the conclusions of two dozen environmental experts, as well as other scientists and experts in various fields.
According to them, the current epoch we’re in, the Holocene, should have lasted for about 50,000 more years, if we hadn’t messed things up so much.
Currently, the paper is under inspection by the International Commission on Stratigraphy, a branch of the International Union of Geological Sciences, in order to determine if they have to formally and scientifically recognize the new era.
Additionally, the paper didn’t even take into account factors like ocean acidification, but a new paper will follow soon focusing on those.
However, there is still a chance to go back. If we manage to cut back carbon emissions, as well as the continuous drastic changes to the environment, we can still influence the new epoch’s course.
Since we’re the ones responsible for bringing it on, we can definitely push it back. We might be leaving the Holocene, but we can do something to bring it back.