Scientists call Current Period of Human Existence ‘Anthropocene’

Scientists call Current Period of Human Existence ‘Anthropocene’

Our planet and its environment is changing at a high speed because of human activities such as warming and pollution. This is the reason that scientists are turning to a new way to explain the time we live in. They are calling it the Anthropocene, the age of humans.

The way humans and industries are changing the planet has led many scientists to make use of this word.

Eight-time spacewalking astronaut John Grunsfeld, now associate administrator for science at NASA, said that the Earth is changing and he has seen it from space. Adding to it, he said that when he looked down from orbit, he noticed that there was no place that he could observe on the planet that was not disturbed by man. So he uses the term Anthropocene "because we're intelligent enough to recognize it."

The American Association for the Advancement of Science is displaying an art show, "Fossils of the Anthropocene". Over 500 scientific studies have been published this year, referring to the present phase as the Anthropocene.

On Friday, the Anthropocene Working Group increased its efforts to change the era's name with a meeting at a Berlin museum.

According to Steffen, one of the main leaders of the Anthropocene movement, the age of humans is more than just climate change. It includes loss to ozone, disturbance of nitrogen and phosphorous cycles that are causing dead zones, acidification of the ocean, changes in water, endocrine disruptors and deforestation.

He also said that there is no scientific agreement for the term Anthropocene yet, but he observes that support is increasing. To become official it has to be accepted by the International Union of Geological Sciences' Commission on Stratigraphy.

Society president Hap McSween of the University of Tennessee said that the Geological Society of America will soon start paying attention to the concept.

"Humans are profoundly affecting the environment, probably as much as natural events have in the past. When effects become profound enough, we draw a new boundary and make it a period", said McSween. Adding to it, he said that it is nice way to point out the environmental destruction that humans are causing.


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