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27 November 2013 12:59 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The new head of the National Center for Science Education promises to "fight the good fight" against attacks on...
Analyses of the H7N9 strains isolated from four new cases show that the virus is evolving rapidly, heightening anxiety...
In 2009, Jack Szostak shared a Nobel Prize for his part in discovering the role of telomeres, the end bits of...
Science has exposed a thriving academic black market in China involving shady agencies, corrupt scientists, and...
Paper-selling agencies flourish in the aura of reputable businesses. For some scientists, it may be difficult to tell...
Featuring the first lunar rover in 40 years, Chang'e-3 is seen as an important milestone on China's quest to send a...
Data collected by satellites and floating probes have chronicled a 2-decade rise in the temperature and thickness of a...
Cholesterol, the artery-clogging molecule that contributes to cardiovascular disease, has another nasty trick up its...
- 27 November 2013 12:59 pm , Vol. 342 , #6162
- 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.