Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Welcome to the "Anthropocene"

27.08.2004


Earth has entered the "Anthropocene", a new geological era in which humans rival nature in their impact on the global environment, say scientists speaking at the EuroScience Forum in Stockholm today.

“Mankind’s use of Earth’s resources has grown so much that it seems justified to denominate the past two centuries and into the future as a new geological era,” says Professor Paul Crutzen, the Nobel prize-winning atmospheric chemist who first coined the term.

Speaking at a EuroScience symposium* on the future of the Earth organized by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (www.igbp.kva.se), Professor Crutzen and others point to the dramatic change in human activities, especially since the 1950s. "The increase in human activity since the Second World War - world economy, resource use, telecommunications, transport and global connectivity - has been astounding," notes Dr Will Steffen, IGBP Chief Scientist, "The consequent human imprint on Earth’s environment is now unmistakable."



"Such a rapid, global-scale increase in pressure on the planet is likely to lead to increasing instability in our environment, and indeed we may already be seeing evidence of this," adds Steffen. “The Antarctic ozone hole is a classic case of a chemical instability, an unforeseen consequence of the use of hydrofluorocarbons (CFCs),” says Professor Crutzen. “The chemicals that caused this instability were thought to be harmless and their ultimate impact occurred in a place far from their release into the atmosphere”.

A second well-known example is the North Atlantic Current. The collapse of this current could lead to a massive regional shift in climate. “Data from Greenland ice cores and deep sea sediments reveal that large and abrupt changes (within~10 years) have occurred frequently in the past,” says Professor Stefan Rahmstorf from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. “There may well be other instabilities in the global environment that cannot be foreseen given our current understanding. However, we do know that the harder we push the planet the more likely we are trigger surprises, “says Dr Steffen. “The “Anthropocene” is a very different era from the relatively stable and nurturing environment in which humans and our societies have evolved. We should expect more instability in the future,” says Dr Steffen.

Susannah Eliott | alfa
Further information:
http://www.igbp.kva.se

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Despite government claims, orangutan populations have not increased. Call for better monitoring
06.11.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Increasing frequency of ocean storms could alter kelp forest ecosystems
30.10.2018 | University of Virginia

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>