Our little blue planet has entered a new epoch dubbed the Anthropocene because of the extent of humanity’s impact on the planet, according to a group of experts, The Independent reports.
An international working group set up to consider the question voted by 34 to zero, with one abstention, that the Anthropocene was real in a geological sense.
The warming temperature, higher sea levels, ash from fossil fuels, plastic waste, a dramatic increase in erosion, the spread of animal species around the world and radioactive particles left around the world from nuclear bomb tests would all contribute to permanent changes in the Earth’s rocks, the scientists said.
A statement issued by Leicester University about the working group’s “provisional recommendation” said: “The Anthropocene concept … is geologically real.
“The phenomenon is of sufficient scale to be considered as part of the International Chronostratigraphic Chart, more commonly known as the Geological Time Scale.”
They are still considering what date should be chosen for the so-called “Golden Spike” – a line in the rock the marks the boundary between the Holocene and Anthropocene epochs, but believe it should be in the mid-20th century.