Geologists deny that the Anthropocene era has begun.

Geologists deny that the Anthropocene era has begun.

Critics argue that the mid-20th century saw the world irreversibly depart from its natural state, and that this opportunity was lost.

Following a protracted scholarly dispute, the custodians of the global geological chronology have decisively rejected a proposal to designate the Anthropocene epoch.

According to the concept, the years starting in 1952 would have been referred to as the Anthropocene to highlight how humans has altered the earth. It would have brought an end to the Holocene epoch, which lasted 11,700 years and saw a stable climate following the last ice age and the rise of human civilization.

However, the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) has declared that a series of votes by geologists have rejected the proposal. The people who objected cited a considerably longer history of human impacts on Earth, which includes the industrial revolution and the emergence of agriculture, and expressed discomfort with the inclusion of a new unit in the geological timescale that spans less than

It also stated: “The idea of the Anthropocene will remain popular among Earth and environmental scientists, social scientists, legislators, and economics, as well as the general public. As such, it will always be a priceless description of interactions between people and their surroundings.

The idea took 15 years to develop by the Anthropocene working group (AWG), which was founded by the Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy (SQS), which is a member of the IUGS. The most accurate indicator of how civilization has altered the planet, it was determined, were the radioactive isotopes dispersed over the globe as a result of hydrogen bomb experiments. In order to serve as a representative example, geological time units also require a specific place; Canada’s Crawford Sinkhole Lake was selected.

The plan was rejected by the SQS in February by a vote of 12 to 4, but its chair, University of Leicester professor Jan Zalasiewicz, who supported it, claimed the vote had not been conducted in accordance with the rules. Nevertheless, the IUGS has recently declared that, in the subsequent phase of the procedure, the chairs of its 17 subcommissions nearly unanimously supported the negative SQS decision, with 15 votes, 1 abstention, and 1 absentee vote. An appeal against this final decision is not permitted.

The IUGS stated, “Even though the proposal was decisively rejected, the AWG has assembled a wide body of data on human impacts on global systems, and this database will be an essential source of reference well into the future. The AWG has performed an important service to the scientific community.”

According to Zalasiewicz, “the Anthropocene will confusingly continue to represent widely different concepts,” following the IUGS verdict. This has been a lost chance to acknowledge and support the obvious and uncomplicated fact that, in the middle of the 20th century, our planet abruptly and irreversibly departed from its natural working state. Numerous signs from geology attest to this truth.

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