Scientists: Human-influenced geological epoch is here

Scientists: Human-Influenced Geological Epoch Is Here

According to a group of scientists, we have entered a new epoch.

Called the Anthropocene, the era is marked by human impact as evident in rising carbon dioxide levels, numerous extinctions, and climate change, reports The Telegraph.

The recommendation was made by the Working Group on the Anthropocene and presented to the International Geological Congress on Monday.

It could more than 2 years before a decision is reached.

According to Time, the research team behind the proposal is suggesting that, if the epoch is accepted, the 1950s be used as a start date.

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Evening rush hour traffic comes to a standstill on a hazy and polluted day in Beijing on December 1, 2010. China has met its 2010 target to cut emissions of key pollutants and is on track to meet its energy efficiency goal, state media said, quoting the country's top climate change official as saying after China last week acknowledged it had become the world's biggest emitter of the greenhouse gases that are blamed for climate change and global warming, surpassing the United States, though not in terms of emissions per capita. China's efforts to improve energy efficiency allowed for savings of 490 million tonnes of coal and prevented carbon dioxide emissions totalling 1.13 billion tonnes in 2006-2009, state media reported. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
NEWBURG, MD - MAY 29: Emissions spew out of a large stack at the coal fired Morgantown Generating Station, on May 29, 2014 in Newburg, Maryland. Next week President Obama is expected to announce new EPA plans to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal fired power plants. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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LONDON - MARCH 25: Marketing manager Nick Cliffe of the 'Closed Loop Recycling' plant walks people through the recycling process on March 25, 2010 in London, United Kingdom. The state of the art plant is the first in the UK to produce food grade recycled plastic from bottle waste. Over 35,00 tonnes of plastic bottles are recycled at the plant annually, representing almost 20% of the plastic bottles currently collected for recycling in the UK, and saving approximately 52,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
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Ultimately, there will need to be a community-wide consensus on what exactly will be the official beginning.

All epochs are marked by what is called a "golden spike," or geological evidence that represents the dawn of permanent change.

As to what it will likely be for the Anthropocene, Jan Zalasiewicz, one of the researchers pointed to nuclear testing, noting, "The radionuclides are probably the sharpest – they really come on with a bang. But we are spoiled for choice. There are so many signals."

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