ANTHROPOCENE EPOCH

 

Please use our A-Z INDEX to navigate this site where page links may lead to other sites

 

 

 

 

TIMELINES - Life on Earth versus Human development in millions of years.

 

 

The Anthropocene is a proposed epoch dating from the commencement of significant human impact on Earth's geology and ecosystems, including, but not limited to, anthropogenic climate change.

As of June 2019, neither the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) nor the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) has yet officially approved the term as a recognized subdivision of geologic time, although the Anthropocene Working Group (AWG) of the Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy (SQS) of the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS), voted to proceed towards a formal golden spike (GSSP) proposal to define the Anthropocene epoch in the Geologic time scale and presented the recommendation to the International Geological Congress on 29 August 2016. On 21 May 2019, the 34 member AWG voted in favour of making a formal proposal to the ICS.

Various start dates for the Anthropocene have been proposed, ranging from the beginning of the Agricultural Revolution 12,000–15,000 years ago, to as recent as the 1960s. As of June 2019, the ratification process continues and thus a date remains to be decided definitively, but the Trinity test of 1945 has been more favoured than others. In May 2019, the AWG voted for a starting date in the mid 20th century, but the final decision will not be made before 2021.

The most recent period of the Anthropocene has been referred to by several authors as the Great Acceleration during which the socioeconomic and earth system trends are increasing dramatically, especially after the Second World War. For instance, the Geological Society termed the year 1945 as The Great Acceleration.

 

 

The top twenty hot heads leading us to extinction

 

G20 - Like it or not the Group of 20 most industrialized nations are leading us to an irrecoverable end. You can imagine that when these incredible creatures roamed the earth, that they thought they were invincible. It's hard to imagine these creatures existed, but they did and we can learn from them - if we want to survive.

 

 

WHERE DOES THE ANTHROPOCENE AGE BEGIN?

 

That's a difficult one to pinpoint. We take the view that the new age begins when humans began to make notable and measurable difference to Earth's natural state.

 

The word 'Anthropocene' - first proposed in 2002 by Nobel chemistry laureate Paul Crutzen - has been adopted by environmentalists as a rallying cry against Big Oil, and is viewed by some conservatives as a stalking horse for what they see as aggressive, economy-choking policies to combat climate change.

 

According to the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), the professional organization in charge of defining Earth’s time scale, we are officially in the Holocene (“entirely recent”) epoch, which began 11,700 years ago after the last major ice age.

 

But that label is outdated, some experts say. They argue for “Anthropocene”—from anthropo, for “man,” and cene, for “new”—because human-kind has caused mass extinctions of plant and animal species, polluted the oceans and altered the atmosphere, among other lasting impacts.

Anthropocene has become an environmental buzzword ever since the atmospheric chemist and Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen popularized it in 2000. This year, the word has picked up velocity in elite science circles: It appeared in nearly 200 peer-reviewed articles, the publisher Elsevier has launched a new aca­demic journal titled Anthropocene and the IUGS convened a group of scholars to decide by 2016 whether to officially declare that the Holocene is over and the Anthropocene has begun.

The current epoch, the Holocene, is the 12,000 years of stable climate since the last ice age during which all human civilisation developed. But the striking acceleration since the mid-20th century of carbon dioxide emissions and sea level rise, the global mass extinction of species, and the transformation of land by deforestation and development mark the end of that slice of geological time, the experts argue. The Earth is so profoundly changed that the Holocene must give way to the Anthropocene.

 

 

FARMING

 

While much of the environmental change occurring on Earth is said to be a direct consequence of the Industrial Revolution, William Ruddiman has argued that the proposed Anthropocene began approximately 8,000 years ago with the development of farming and sedentary cultures.

 

At this point, humans were dispersed across all of the continents (except Antarctica), and the Neolithic Revolution was ongoing. During this period, humans developed agriculture and animal husbandry to supplement or replace hunter-gatherer subsistence. Such innovations were followed by a wave of extinctions, beginning with large mammals and land birds. This wave was driven by both the direct activity of humans (e.g. hunting) and the indirect consequences of land-use change for agriculture.

From the past to present, some authors consider the Anthropocene and the Holocene to be the same or coeval geologic time span, and others viewed the Anthropocene as being a bit more recent. Ruddiman claims that the Anthropocene, has had significant human impact on greenhouse gas emissions, which began not in the industrial era, but rather 8,000 years ago, as ancient farmers cleared forests to grow crops.

 

Ruddiman's work has, in turn, been challenged with data from an earlier interglaciation ("Stage 11", approximately 400,000 years ago) which suggests that 16,000 more years must elapse before the current Holocene interglaciation comes to an end, and that thus the early anthropogenic hypothesis is invalid. Furthermore, the argument that "something" is needed to explain the differences in the Holocene is challenged by more recent research showing that all interglacials differ.

Although 8,000 years ago the planet sustained a few million people, it was still fundamentally pristine. This claim is the basis for an assertion that an early date for the proposed Anthropocene term does account for a substantial human footprint on Earth.


ANTIQUITY

One plausible starting point of the Anthropocene could be at ca. 2,000 years ago, which roughly coincides with the start of the final phase of Holocene, the Sub Atlantic.

At this time, the Roman Empire encompassed large portions of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. In China the classical dynasties were flowering. The Middle kingdoms of India had already the largest economy of the ancient and medieval world.

 

The Napata/Meroitic kingdom extended over the current Sudan and Ethiopia. The Olmecs controlled central Mexico and Guatemala, and the pre-Incan Chavín people managed areas of northern Peru. Although often apart from each other and intermixed with buffering ecosystems, the areas directly impacted by these civilizations and others were large. Additionally, some activities, such as mining, implied much more widespread perturbation of natural conditions.

 

Over the last 11,500 years or so humans have spread around Earth, increased in number, and profoundly altered the material world. They have taken advantage of global environmental conditions not of their own making. The end of the last glacial period – when as much as 30% of Earth's surface was ice-bound – led to a warmer world with more water (H2O). Although humans existed in the previous Pleistocene epoch, it is only in the recent Holocene period that they have flourished. Today there are more humans alive than at any previous point in Earth's history.


INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

Crutzen proposed the Industrial Revolution as the start of Anthropocene. Lovelock proposes that the Anthropocene began with the first application of the Newcomen atmospheric engine in 1712. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change takes the pre-industrial era (chosen as the year 1750) as the baseline related to changes in long-lived, well mixed greenhouse gases. Although it is apparent that the Industrial Revolution ushered in an unprecedented global human impact on the planet, much of Earth's landscape already had been profoundly modified by human activities. The human impact on Earth has grown progressively, with few substantial slowdowns.

 

 

 

 

ANTHROPOCENE MARKER

A marker that accounts for a substantial global impact of humans on the total environment, comparable in scale to those associated with significant perturbations of the geological past, is needed in place of minor changes in atmosphere composition.

A useful candidate for this purpose is the pedosphere, which can retain information of its climatic and geo-chemical history with features lasting for centuries or millennia. Human activity is now firmly established as the sixth factor of soil formation. It affects pedogenesis either directly, by, for example, land leveling, trenching and embankment building for various purposes, organic matter enrichment from additions of manure or other waste, organic matter impoverishment due to continued cultivation, compaction from overgrazing or, indirectly, by drift of eroded materials or pollutants.

 

Anthropogenic soils are those markedly affected by human activities, such as repeated ploughing, the addition of fertilizers, contamination, sealing, or enrichment with artifacts (in the World Reference Base for Soil Resources they are classified as Anthrosols and Technosols). They are recalcitrant repositories of artefacts and properties that testify to the dominance of the human impact, and hence appear to be reliable markers for the Anthropocene.

 

Some anthropogenic soils may be viewed as the 'golden spikes' of geologists (Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point), which are locations where there are strata successions with clear evidences of a worldwide event, including the appearance of distinctive fossils.

 

Drilling for fossil fuels has also created holes and tubes which are expected to be detectable for millions of years. The astrobiologist David Grinspoon has proposed that the site of the Apollo 11 Lunar landing, with the disturbances and artifacts that are so uniquely characteristic of our species' technological activity and which will survive over geological time spans could be considered as the 'golden spike' of the Anthropocene.

 

 

WORLD WAR 1 & 2

 

Without any doubt, the acceleration of technology brought about by the need to kill more efficiently, to destroy other human beings over great distances, gave us jet aircraft, submarines, rockets, nuclear weapons and computers - and that led to space travel. The need to produce weapons in large numbers led to mass production and automation, some of the most inhuman being gas chambers. Hard to believe that humans could be so cruel to each other, and a stark reminder of how some people in power think.

 

The technology stemming from these events had a marked effect on the base causes of climate change. For example farming became mechanized and supercharged with fertilizers. Cars became commonplace, as did air travel for holidays and global trading of goods. Food became easier to produce in large quantities, meaning that the human birth rate increased. Barter was replaced by money making it easier to exploit our natural resources and giant machines rape the earth of minerals to help us build concrete jungles..

 

More humans means more houses, more cars, more factories and more food, putting pressure on agriculture and fisheries, both of which are becoming stretched past the natural limits, heralding in aquaculture. But for how long will we be able to use technology to extend unnatural lifestyle we have been brought up to think is normal?

 

 

 

 

WHERE WILL IT END?

 

There is no point starting the clock again. Another World War, even a nuclear holocaust, will just mean a breathing space until we reach the same population level again. Assuming that we don't completely annihilate the planet in the process.

 

What we need is an International Agreement as to Anthropogenic Limits. Logically, this should be set at the natural limits of food production. We should take fertilizers out of this equation.

 

We do not need to limit fossil fuel use, as this should be phased out completely. Rather, we should accelerate the change to renewables in homes, factories and transport.

 

 

SIX (SUGGESTED) STEPS TOWARD A COOLER PLANET

 

1. TRANSPORT: Phase out polluting vehicles. Governments aim to end the sale of new petrol, and diesel vehicles by 2040 but have no infrastructure plan to support such ambition. Such infrastructure should exceed the performance of fossil fuel filling stations, prolong EV battery life and provide power grids with a measure of load leveling. Any such system should seek to obviate the provision of millions of fast charge points where implementation could prove to be a logistical nightmare. This may involve international agreement as to energy storage format and statute to steer car makers to collaborate in part in a world of competition.

 

Marine transport can be carbon neutral given the right policies, with phased transition in specific stages such as not to unduly penalize present investment in LNG shipping and other recent MARPOL compliant IC powered vessels. Future cargo vessel should be at least in part powered by renewable energy, on the road to zero carbon, making allowances for technology catch-up.

 

Air travel powered by kerosene should attract hefty mitigation offset, where low carbon alternatives should be encouraged.

 

2. RENEWABLES:  Renewable energy should replace carbon-based fuels (coal, oil and gas) in our electricity for homes, factories, heating and transport. Coal and nuclear power plants should be phased out.

 

3. HOUSING: On site micro or macro generation is the best option, starting with new build homes that are both affordable and sustainable by design to replace crumbling housing stocks. Encourage building in timber to provide carbon lock from a renewable natural resource. Make sustainable housing a permitted development, taking out the need to apply for planning permission, will cut out council blockers from the decision making process, to stamp out empire building agendas.

 

4. AGRICULTURE: We need to grow more trees to absorb carbon emissions from a growing population, air travel, and to build new homes. We should promote reductions in food waste and eating of foods that use less energy to produce. Educating children on these matters in schools and via campaigns such as no meat Mondays, should be part of ordinary study.

 

5. INDUSTRY: Factories should be aiming for solar heating and onsite renewable energy generation. EV parking and even service facilities should be part of new industrial estates as part of any building permissions.

 

6. POLITICS: - National governing bodies need to adopt rules to eliminate administrative wastages, to include scaling down spending on war machines, increasing spend on educating the public and supporting sustainable social policies that mesh with other cultures. This includes fostering policies and making funds available to close links in the technology chain to make up for lost time. Kleptocratic empire building must cease in the search for natural equilibrium.

 

 

 

 

CLIMATE CHANGE  COP HISTORY

 

1995 COP 1, BERLIN, GERMANY
1996 COP 2, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
1997 COP 3, KYOTO, JAPAN
1998 COP 4, BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
1999 COP 5, BONN, GERMANY
2000:COP 6, THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS
2001 COP 7, MARRAKECH, MOROCCO
2002 COP 8, NEW DELHI, INDIA
2003 COP 9, MILAN, ITALY
2004 COP 10, BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
2005 COP 11/CMP 1, MONTREAL, CANADA
2006 COP 12/CMP 2, NAIROBI, KENYA
2007 COP 13/CMP 3, BALI, INDONESIA

2008 COP 14/CMP 4, POZNAN, POLAND
2009 COP 15/CMP 5, COPENHAGEN, DENMARK
2010 COP 16/CMP 6, CANCUN, MEXICO
2011 COP 17/CMP 7, DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA
2012 COP 18/CMP 8, DOHA, QATAR
2013 COP 19/CMP 9, WARSAW, POLAND
2014 COP 20/CMP 10, LIMA, PERU
2015 COP 21/CMP 11, Paris, France
2016 COP 22/CMP 12/CMA 1, Marrakech, Morocco
2017 COP 23/CMP 13/CMA 2, Bonn, Germany
2018 COP 24/CMP 14/CMA 3, Katowice, Poland
2019 COP 25/CMP 15/CMA 4, Santiago, Chile

2020 COP 26/CMP 16/CMA 5, UK contenders

 

 

DESERTIFICATION COP HISTORY

 

COP 1: Rome, Italy, 29 Sept to 10 Oct 1997

COP 9: Buenos Aires, Argentina, 21 Sept to 2 Oct 2009

COP 2: Dakar, Senegal, 30 Nov to 11 Dec 1998

COP 10: Changwon, South Korea, 10 to 20 Oct 2011

COP 3: Recife, Brazil, 15 to 26 Nov 1999

COP 11: Windhoek, Namibia, 16 to 27 Sept 2013

COP 4: Bonn, Germany, 11 to 22 Dec 2000

COP 12: Ankara, Turkey, 12 to 23 Oct 2015

COP 5: Geneva, Switzerland, 1 to 12 Oct 2001

COP 13: Ordos City, China, 6 to 16 Sept 2017

COP 6: Havana, Cuba, 25 August to 5 Sept 2003

COP 14: New Delhi, India, 2 to 13 Sept 2019

COP 7: Nairobi, Kenya, 17 to 28 Oct 2005

COP 15:  2020

COP 8: Madrid, Spain, 3 to 14 Sept 2007

COP 16:  2021

 

 

BIODIVERSITY COP HISTORY

 

COP 1: 1994 Nassau, Bahamas, Nov & Dec

COP 8: 2006 Curitiba, Brazil, 8 Mar

COP 2: 1995 Jakarta, Indonesia, Nov

COP 9: 2008 Bonn, Germany, May

COP 3: 1996 Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nov

COP 10: 2010 Nagoya, Japan, Oct

COP 4: 1998 Bratislava, Slovakia, May

COP 11: 2012 Hyderabad, India

EXCOP: 1999 Cartagena, Colombia, Feb

COP 12: 2014 Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea, Oct

COP 5: 2000 Nairobi, Kenya, May

COP 13: 2016 Cancun, Mexico, 2 to 17 Dec

COP 6: 2002 The Hague, Netherlands, April

COP 14: 2018 Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, 17 to 29 Nov

COP 7: 2004 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Feb

COP 15: 2020 Kunming, Yunnan, China

 

 

UN CLIMATE ACTION PORTFOLIOS

 

1. Finance
2. Energy Transition
3. Industry Transition
4. Nature-Based Solutions
5. Cities and Local Action
6. Resilience and Adaptation
7. Mitigation Strategy
8. Youth Engagement & Public Mobilization
9. Social and Political Drivers

 

 

THE G20 NEANDERTHALS

 

 

 

ARGENTINA

 

 

Malcolm Turnbull

 

AUSTRALIA

 

 

Michel Temer

 

BRAZIL

 

 

Justin Trudeau

 

CANADA

 

 

Xi Jinping

 

CHINA

 

 

EUROPEAN UNION

 

Edouard Philippe

 

FRANCE

 

Angela Merkel

 

GERMANY

 

Narendra Modi

 

INDIA

 

Joko Widodo

 

INDONESIA

 

Giuseppe Conte

 

ITALY

 

Shinzo Abe

 

JAPAN

 

Enrique Pena Nieto

 

MEXICO

 

Vladimir Putin

 

RUSSIA

 

King Salman

 

SAUDI ARABIA

 

Cyril Ramaphosa

 

SOUTH AFRICA

 

Moon Jae-in

 

SOUTH KOREA

 

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

 

TURKEY

 

Theresa May

 

UNITED KINGDOM

 

Donald Trump

 

UNITED STATES

 

 

 

 

MEET THE FOCKERS - These relatives of the G20 thought they knew what they were doing, but each family member got passed over on the way to Homo Sapiens. How well are humans doing? Just another notch on the evolutionary scale - no change! We are doomed unless the Parties to the United Nations Conferences start using the brains it has taken millions of years to develop.

 

 

LINKS & REFERENCE

 

https://theanthropocene.org/film/

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/29/declare-anthropocene-epoch-experts-urge-geological-congress-human-impact-earth

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/what-is-the-anthropocene-and-are-we-in-it-164801414/

http://anthropocene.info/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropocene

 

 

 

 

This website is provided on a free basis as a public information service. copyright © Climate Change Trust 2019. Solar Studios, BN271RF, United Kingdom.

 

 

 

THE TOP TWENTY CLIMATE CHANGERS HAVE EXPLOITED WORLD RESOURCES SO RAISING GLOBAL TEMPERATURES