Auntie P/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

What's in a name? The Anthropocene debate begins

About 30 scientists (and one lawyer) met today in Berlin to begin deliberations over if and how the term “Anthropocene” should be adopted to describe our current geological time period, The Guardian reports. The term has been widely used in popular culture since 2000 to reflect humanity’s enormous impact on the biosphere, but the International Commission on Stratigraphy has yet to officially recognize it as a new epoch, counting us as still in the “Holocene,” which began 12,000 years ago with the thawing of the last ice age. Although the group’s proposal (including determining which human impact should mark the start of the new epoch) won’t be ready until 2016, that’s just a blink of an eye in geologic time.

Latest News