Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A New Epoch Upon Us?

Remember the Pleistocene epoch - the "glacial age" when Earth was repeatedly frozen, scraped, cooled and re-frozen? Epochs, eras, periods - these are terms remembered fondly, but barely, from high school or college. Well, the news is out. We have begun a new epoch. It seems humans have made such an impact on our planet that we have now departed the Holocene epoch and begun the Anthropocene. This was determined by a team from the Geological Society of London after examining transformed patterns of sediment, distruptions to the carbon cycle and wholesale changes to plants and animals. We humans have so changed the landscape that we now need a new name for it. And some say they do not play a part in creating history. We all do. And we all did. Let's make it a good one.

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