Surprise decision not to define the Anthropocene shocks scientists



Has Earth entered a new geologic epoch? Perhaps not

Shutterstock/Dima Zel

Efforts to put the Anthropocene on the geological timescale have fallen at the first hurdle, shocking members of the consulting scientific body who only learned of the official decision when it was publicised. The deciding group of academics voted down the proposal 12 to 4, declining to define a new epoch based on the planetary changes brought about by humans.

Earth’s current epoch is the Holocene, which began about 11,700 years ago and is marked by a time of progress and prosperity…


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