The World 's Terrifying Impact On Earth Justifies New Anthropocene Epoch
1752 WordsApr 27, 20168 Pages
“Humanity’s terrifying impact on Earth justifies new Anthropocene epoch” is the title of an article published in the Guardian newspaper in October 2014, the purpose of this essay is to assess if this statement was and is true.
The geologic timescale comprises of Eons, Eras, Periods, Epochs and Ages, all of which fit into each other with Eon being the largest. Key geological events in the life of the planet are used to mark the transition from one of these chapters to another. Fig 1 has been created to illustrate where we currently are in the geological timescale and the dates and events that led us here. Fig 1: Where we are today – based on the Geologic Timescale (ICS 2016)
Eon - long period of time
Era - major division of geological time
Period - unit of geological time during which a system of rocks formed
Epoch - unit of geological time that is a subdivision of a period
Age - subdivision of geologic time that divides an epoch into smaller parts Subdivisions of the Holocene have not been agreed; Early, Middle and Late Sub-series/Sub-epochs have been proposed, Journal of Quaternary Science (2012).
Fig 2: Units in stratigraphy and geochronology
As well as the units for the geologic timescale there are also units for stratified rock (time-rock units) as shown in Fig 2 and defined in Fig 3. There have been proposals since 1990 (Zalasiewicz et al 2004) that the distinctions between these timescales is now redundant with the introduction of Global Stratotype Sections