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Not yet Anthropocene

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: The International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) has officially rejected the proposal to recognize the Anthropocene as a new geological epoch
• This decision ends over a decade of debate regarding the formal acknowledgment of significant human impacts on Earth’s geology

🔭 The context: The Anthropocene Working Group (AWG) proposed 1952 as the starting date for this epoch, marked by a "golden spike" of radioactive plutonium in Crawford Lake, Canada
• However, IUGS concluded the evidence and the concept of a fixed start date do not meet their criteria for a new epoch

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Rejecting the Anthropocene as a formal epoch does not negate the extensive human impact on the planet
• Instead, it emphasizes understanding these effects as ongoing and complex, rather than confined to a single point in time

⏭️ What's next: The decision encourages broader, more nuanced discussions on human-environment interactions
• It supports the view of the Anthropocene as a multidimensional concept that reflects the long-term influence of humans on various ecosystems

💬 One quote: “It serves humanity best as a loose concept that we can use to define something that we all widely understand, which is that we live in an era where humans are the dominant force on ecological and geological processes” (Jacquelyn Gill, palaeoecologist at the University of Maine)

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