STATES CHRONICLE – It seems that man has not just built artificial islands or kick-started the green gases effect, but also, the human produced Anthropocene Age is our personal footprint on the planet’s geological features.
Humans have triggered a new geological era. This will be the starting point of discussions at this year’s geological conference that will try to mark a beginning of the Anthropocene Age (somewhere around the times in which the primitive man started realizing that he can use tools) and the major events that reshaped the planet (such as the nuclear bombing).
Geological eras spread across tens of thousands of years and are marked by significant changes that occur on the planet. For example, the Cretaceous and the Jurassic eras are not distinguished only by the fact that one harbored the Tyrannosaurus and the other didn’t. A lot more factors are taken into consideration when defining the limits of a geological era.
For example, the Cretaceous and the Jurassic had different concentrations of gases in the atmosphere. Of course, this determined the dinosaurs to grow in different sizes and adopt various diets, but this is not relevant here.
What is relevant is that for a geological era to end, and another one to start, the changes upon the environment had to be significant. This process usually takes tens of millions of years. To further understand why the Anthropocene era is so unusual, we must take into account that the Holocene, the era in which we were supposed to be today, started out only 12,000 years ago. These are baby years comparing to what was before.
This alteration can mean only one thing. We have done so much damage to the planet, we have built, and polluted and changed so much on it that we created a change that would have happened tens of thousands of years into the future. If it weren’t for us.
The Science magazine says that the new era is owed to the new materials invented by humans (starting with pottery and ending with carbon or glass fiber). These new elements do not have a decomposition rate equal to that of 100% organic materials (such as for example, wood) so they create a new kind of fossil, the “technofossil” which will probably still be here two geological eras into the future.
Engaging in nuclear testing and use didn’t slow down the process, either, as the Earth’s atmosphere plunged into a much faster rate of alteration.
It seems like the human produced Anthropocene Era is our personal footprint on the face of the planet, or much rather a scar.
Image source: www.wikipedia.org