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Rise and fall of “The Anthropocene”: humanity, geology and AI

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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 Forbes or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: The International Union of Geological Sciences decided not to adopt "The Anthropocene" as the official designation for our current epoch, despite prior support from a working group
• The term, suggesting a geological epoch dominated by human impact, was proposed for formal naming in 2002 but was recently rejected

🔭 The context: "The Anthropocene" was a term proposed to capture the significant changes humans have made to the Earth, starting from the mid-20th century
• This period saw rapid increases in population, industrial production, and the use of agricultural chemicals, famously marked by the atomic bomb blasts and unique geological signatures like those found in Crawford Lake, Canada

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The rejection of the Anthropocene naming does not diminish the overwhelming evidence of human impact on Earth
• Research from the Weitzman Institute shows the massive scale of human-created materials exceeding natural biomass, highlighting the urgent need for sustainable solutions to mitigate our footprint

⏭️ What's next: The decision opens the door to explore other concepts like James Lovelock's "Novacene" or the "Ecozoic" and "Symbiocene" epochs, focusing on a future where humans and nature coexist sustainably
• This shift suggests a broader, interdisciplinary approach to recognizing human impact beyond geological terms

💬 One quote: "The failed naming should in no way detract from our impact," reflects the ongoing debate on how to best acknowledge and address human influence on the planet.

📈 One stat: 95% of the total biomass of mammals on Earth is now either humans or animals cultivated by humans, illustrating the profound effect humanity has on the biosphere

Click for more news covering the latest on environmental sustainability


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