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24 April 2014 11:45 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
Major climate data sets have underestimated the rate of global warming in the last 15 years owing largely to poor data...
The tsetse fly is best known as the vector for the trypanosome parasites that cause sleeping sickness and a disease in...
The National Institutes of Health is revising its "two strikes" rule, which allowed researchers only one chance to...
By stabilizing the components of retromers, molecular complexes that act like recycling bins in cells, a recently...
Fossil fuels power modern society by generating heat, but much of that heat is wasted. Semiconductor devices called...
Researchers are gaining insights into what made Supertyphoon Haiyan so powerful and devastating through post-storm...
Millions around the world got a first-hand look at what it was like to be in Tacloban while it was pummeled by...
- 24 April 2014 11:45 am , Vol. 344 , #6182
- 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.