Leaving Our Mark

When did the Anthropocene begin? A bunch of experts say the 1950s. Thanks, plastics.

January 16, 2015

"Now, members of the international working group formally analyzing the Anthropocene suggest that the key turning point happened in the mid-twentieth century. This was when humans did not just leave traces of their actions, but began to alter the whole Earth system. There was a ‘Great Acceleration’ of population, of carbon emissions, of species invasions and extinctions, of earth moving, of the production of concrete, plastics and metals."

—From “Researchers Propose Earth’s ‘Anthropocene’ Age of Humans Began With Fallout and Plastics,” Andrew Revkin’s story for the New York Times on the current geological age of our own making 


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