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Live Chat: Are We Entering a New Geological Age?

5 October 2011 9:16 am
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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.
Today's Topic

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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Today's Guests


Erle Ellis


Jan Zalasiewicz



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