A Cartography of the Anthropocene

There is a very interesting website up from Globaia that maps the anthropocene. There is some nice background info, part of which is below. The images are especially intriguing. This one is of pipelines, energy transmission lines and and submarine cables, the rest are here).


The Anthropocene: A primer.
The Anthropocene. We’re already there. This is our time, our creation, our challenge.

Officially, this epoch does not exist. Yet. It may be added permanently to the geologic time scale in 2016. It is the International Commission on Stratigraphy that determines the denomination and the calibration of different divisions and subdivisions of geological time, which date back to the formation of the Earth, 4.6 billion years ago.

Unofficially however, the term is used more frequently in the scientific literature and, more recently, in publications dedicated to the general public.

So, might you ask, what is the Anthropocene?

First, the etymology. The Ancient Greek [anthropos] means “human being” while [kainos] means “new, current.” The Anthropocene would thus be best defined as the new human-dominated period of the Earth’s history.

The term was proposed in 2000 by Paul J. Crutzen, Nobel Prize in 1995 for his work on atmospheric chemistry and his research on stratospheric ozone depletion (the so-called “hole”), and by Eugene F. Stoermer in a publication (p. 17) of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme. But the concept itself, the idea that human activity affects the Earth to the point where it can cross a new age, is not new and dates back to the late nineteenth century. Different terms were proposed over the decades, such as Anthropozoic (Stoppani, 1873), Noosphere (de Chardin, 1922; Vernadsky, 1936), Eremozoic (Wilson, 1992), and Anthrocene (Revkin, 1992). It seems that the success of the term chosen by Crutzen and Stoermer is due to the luck of having been made at the appropriate time, when humankind became more than ever aware of the extent of its impact on global environment. It should be noted that Edward O. Wilson (who suggested Eremozoic, “the age of loneliness”) popularized the terms “biodiversity” and “biophilia.”

Technically, the Anthropocene is the most recent period of the Quaternary, succeding to the Holocene. The Quaternary is a period of the Earth’s history characterized by numerous and cyclical glaciations, starting 2,588,000 years ago (2.588 Ma). The Quaternary is divided into three epochs: the Pleistocene, the Holocene, and now the Anthropocene….READ MORE HERE.