Anthropocene era

What is Anthropocene?

  • The word Anthropocene is derived from the Greek words. Anthropo in greek means “man” and cene in Greek means “new”.
  • Anthropocene is an unofficial unit of geologic time. It describes the time when human activities started to have a significant impact on the planet’s climate and ecosystems.
  •  These impacts include global warming, environmental degradation (such as ocean acidification), mass extinction and biodiversity loss, ecological crisis, and ecological collapse.
  • All these changes are taking place due to industrialization, introducing invasive species (agriculture, livestock, etc.) for economic benefits, Overconsumption, overpopulation, etc.
  • In 2010, biologist Eugene Stormer and chemist Paul Crutzen coined the term ‘Anthropocene’. Later the word gained immense popularity.
  • In 2016, the Anthropocene Working Group agreed that the Anthropocene is different from the Holocene. The working group also mentions the year 1950 as the year when Great Acceleration took off (a dramatic increase in a human activity affecting the planet)

What is Holocene?

  • Earth’s history is divided into a hierarchical series of smaller periods of time. This is called as Geological Time Scale(GTS).
  • These smaller divisions, in descending length of time, are called eons, eras, periods, epochs, and ages.
  • The International Union of Geological Sciences(IUGS) is an international organization that names and defines epochs.
  • The current epoch is called the Holocene officially by IUGS. According to IUGS, the Holocene began 11,700 years ago, after the last major ice age.

Has the Anthropocene era been officially adopted?

  • Scientists still debate whether the Anthropocene is different from the Holocene.
  • Most importantly, the IUGS has not formally adopted the term Anthropocene.

Source: Indian Express 

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