Monday, January 28, 2008
Humans have alteredRead more so much that scientists say a new epoch in the planet's geologic history has begun.here.
Say goodbye to the 10,000-year-old Holocene Epoch and hello to the Anthropocene.
Among the major changes heralding this two-century-old man-made epoch:
- Vastly altered sediment erosion and deposition patterns.
- Major disturbances to the carbon cycle and global temperature.
- Wholesale changes in biology, from altered flowering times to new migration patterns.
- Acidification of the ocean, which threatens tiny marine life that forms the bottom of the food chain.
The idea, first suggested in 2000 by Nobel Prize-winning chemist Paul Crutzen, has gained steam with two new scientific papers that call for official recognition of the shift.