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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
Live Chat: Are We Entering a New Geological Age?
5 October 2011 9:16 am
See below for the chat box. Join us each Thursday at 3 p.m. EST for a live conversation with leading scientists and expert reporters.
At the end of the last ice age, around 11,500 years ago, our planet entered the Holocene, an epoch of climatic stability and warmth. People came out of their caves and took advantage of the new conditions; they started farming and settling in villages and towns, which led to development of cultures and the rise of entire civilizations. However, since the industrial revolution, human activity has accelerated and become so profound and global that many scientists think we have pushed the planet across a new geological boundary, into what some are calling the Anthropocene (which literally means the “age of man”). Now geologists are considering whether to formally define the new age, recognizing it in the same way as the Jurassic, Cambrian, or Holocene. How have humans changed the Earth? Are our changes enough to merit a new geological age? And, if we are in the Anthropocene, when did the new era begin?
Join us for a live chat on this page at 3 p.m. EDT on Thursday, 6 October, to discuss these and other questions with two experts in the field. You can leave your questions in the comments section below before the chat starts.
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Erle Ellis is an associate professor of geography and environmental systems at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Ellis’s research investigates the global ecology of anthropogenic landscapes and their changes towards informing sustainable stewardship of the biosphere in the Anthropocene.
Jan Zalasiewicz is a senior lecturer in geology at the University of Leicester, before that working at the British Geological Survey. He is a field geologist, palaeontologist, and stratigrapher, having researched into fossil ecosystems and environments across over half a billion years of geological time.