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When did the Anthropocene begin? A mid-twentieth century boundary level is stratigraphically optimal

Zalasiewicz, J; Waters, Colin; Williams, Mark; Barnosky, Anthony D.; Cearreta, Alejandro; Crutzen, Paul J; Ellis, Erle; Ellis, Michael A; Fairchild, I.J.; McNeill, John R; Steffen, Will


We evaluate the boundary of the Anthropocene geological time interval as an epoch, since it is useful to have a consistent temporal definition for this increasingly used unit, whether the presently informal term is eventually formalized or not. Of the three main levels suggested - an 'early Anthropocene' level some thousands of years ago; the beginning of the Industrial Revolution at ~1800CE (Common Era); and the 'Great Acceleration' of the mid-twentieth century - current evidence suggests that...[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2015
Type: Journal article
Source: Quaternary International
DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2014.11.045


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