Staff member
Jun 3, 2020
The Anthropocene is a proposed geologic epoch dating from the commencement of significant human impact on the Earth's geology, ecosystems and climate. Currently, Anthropocene is not recognized as a subdivision of Geologic time scale.

Definition of Anthropocene
The Anthropocene defines the anthropogenic changes to the Earth. Although there are several significant events in the Earth's geologic history, the human activity contributed to several abrupt changes like excessive mining, waste disposal into oceans, civil constructions, global warming etc. So, several groups have suggested that increased human activity should be recognized as an individual epoch to separate it from the Holocene. However, many others groups didn't approve it as the geologic time is measured in millions of years and the changes over a few decades or centuries for whatever reason shouldn't be considered as a separate geologic subdivision.

Current Epoch
The Holocene epoch of Quaternary period is the current geologic subdivision and the entire civilizations & modern history of humans fall into this epoch regardless of any major or minor changes. The Holocene extinction is the sixth major mass extinction event. It is the ongoing extinction event and is often referred to as Anthropocene extinction due to the contribution of human activity for this event. The proposal for Anthropocene epoch is rejected by many as it is close to an extinction event rather than a geologic subdivision.

The Homogenocene is defined as the current geologic epoch with diminishing biodiversity and biogeography. The ecosystems around the world become similar to each other mainly due to the invasive species. The term "Homogenocene" is rarely used and sometimes used as an alternative to Anthropocene.

The beginning of Anthropocene
Many people tried to separate human era from the rest of the geologic history of the planet. The term "Anthropocene" has been used in scientific papers with informal context. However, it was not officially recognized to represent a specific time period. Moreover, the beginning of Anthropocene is a matter of debate as there is no unanimously accepted time period for this epoch. The proposed dates for the beginning of Anthropocene are Diachronous (not specific), Before present (14,000-15,000 BC), Neolithic revolution (12,000 BC), Industrial revolution (1780), Trinity test (16 July, 1945), Human activity in sediments and ice cores (mid-20th century) etc. Some people consider both Anthropocene and Holocene to be the same or coeval geologic time span, while several others consider Anthropocene to be a more recent time period.


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