400ppm: Exit Holocene, Enter Anthropocene

Society and space

homosapiens_yusoffOn 10 May 2013, 400 parts per million of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere was recorded at the Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii. This seemingly innocuous number failed to grab the attention of mainstream media, but it inadvertently signaled a quiet earth revolution – a geohistoric moment of “wild destratification”, as Deleuze and Guattari would have it. At the start of the Industrial Revolution (and the designated origins of the Anthropocene), atmospheric CO2 was at 280 ppm. The last time CO2 levels hit 400 ppm was in the Pilocene (between 2.6-5.3 million years ago). In light of these potentially seismic changes in the atmosphere and society, Society and Space invited some interdisciplinary reflections on 400 ppm.

Sara Nelson, Harlan Morehouse,  Jessi Lehman and Elizabeth Johnsonintroduce 400 ppm with a special report on recent “Critical Climate Change Scholarship.”

Bronislaw Szerszynski takes us on a journey through aeons and epochs in

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  1. Carl Hunt says:

    Politicians fiddle while planet burns.

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