anthropocene era

Quick Reference

The geological era, beginning in the 18th century, in which humans are a significant, sometimes dominating, environmental force (Crutzen and Stoermer (2000) Glob. Change Newsl. 41). During this era humankind has: increased its population tenfold; exhausted 40% of the known oil reserves; contributed to a 30% increase in atmospheric CO2; transformed nearly 50% of the land surface (with significant consequences for biodiversity, nutrient cycling, soil structure, soil biology, and climate); dramatically altered coastal and marine habitats (50% of mangroves have been removed and wetlands have shrunk by one-half); and increased extinction rates (Sanderson et al. (2002) Bioscience 52, 10).

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.

Reference entries