The Anthropocene: Are Humans Now Overwhelming the Great Forces of Nature

  title={The Anthropocene: Are Humans Now Overwhelming the Great Forces of Nature},
  author={Will Steffen and Paul J. Crutzen and John R. McNeill},
Abstract We explore the development of the Anthropocene, the current epoch in which humans and our societies have become a global geophysical force. The Anthropocene began around 1800 with the onset of industrialization, the central feature of which was the enormous expansion in the use of fossil fuels. We use atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration as a single, simple indicator to track the progression of the Anthropocene. From a preindustrial value of 270–275 ppm, atmospheric carbon dioxide… 

The Anthropocene: conceptual and historical perspectives

The case for formally recognizing the Anthropocene as a new epoch in Earth history is put forward, arguing that the advent of the Industrial Revolution around 1800 provides a logical start date for the new epoch.

The Coming of the Anthropocene

The contemporary debate about nature and the socionatural relation has been marked by the rise of a geological hypothesis that has rapidly gained steam outside the natural sciences realm, namely,

Can Karl Polanyi Explain the Anthropocene? The Commodification of Nature and the Great Acceleration

The most important historical work on the Anthropocene to date is J. R. McNeill and Peter Engelke’s The Great Acceleration: An Environmental History of the Anthropocene since 1945 (2016). The authors

The Great Deceleration and proposed alternative interpretation of the Anthropocene

Is the Anthropocene a new geological epoch and can its beginning be determined? The so-called Great Acceleration data, used repeatedly in support of the concept of the Anthropocene as a new

Organizing in the Anthropocene

The functioning of the biosphere and the Earth as a whole is being radically disrupted due to human activities, evident in climate change, toxic pollution and mass species extinction.

The cost of living in the Anthropocene

The most recent epoch, the Holocene, has been a period of relative environmental stability, allowing humans to develop agriculture and establish settlements, culminating in modern civilization. Human

The Anthropocene: From Global Change to Planetary Stewardship

The Anthropocene is a reminder that the Holocene, during which complex human societies have developed, has been a stable, accommodating environment and is the only state of the Earth System that the authors know for sure can support contemporary society.

The Anthropocene as Process: Why We Should View the State of the World through a Deep Historical Lens

  • T. Braje
  • Geology
    Revista de Estudos e Pesquisas Avançadas do Terceiro Setor
  • 2018
The geological community and the Anthropocene Working Group (AWG) are moving ever closer to formalizing a new geologic epoch, the Anthropocene. First proposed to raise awareness for planetary



The Holocene CO2 rise: Anthropogenic or natural?

In view of the wide attention received by the suggestion that the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) over the last 8000 years is anthropogenic rather than natural in origin [Ruddiman, 2003],

The Anthropogenic Greenhouse Era Began Thousands of Years Ago

The anthropogenic era is generally thought to have begun 150 to 200 years ago, when the industrial revolution began producing CO2 andCH4 at rates sufficient to alter their compositions in the

Quaternary extinctions : a prehistoric revolution

What caused the extinction of so many animals at or near the end of the Pleistocene? Was it overkill by human hunters, the result of a major climatic change or was it just a part of some massive

Century-scale nitrogen and phosphorus controls of the carbon cycle

Geology of mankind

It seems appropriate to assign the term ‘Anthropocene’ to the present, in many ways human-dominated, geological epoch, supplementing the Holocene—the warm period of the past 10–12 millennia.

Eight glacial cycles from an Antarctic ice core

The recovery of a deep ice core from Dome C, Antarctica, that provides a climate record for the past 740,000 years is reported, suggesting that without human intervention, a climate similar to the present one would extend well into the future.

The Earth System

1. Global Change 2. Daisyworld: An Introduction to Systems 3. Global Energy Balance: The Greenhouse Effect 4. The Atmospheric Circulation System 5. The Circulation of the Oceans 6. The Cryosphere 7.

The earth system

  • F. Bretherton
  • Environmental Science
    Future Gener. Comput. Syst.
  • 1989

Natural and anthropogenic changes in atmospheric CO2 over the last 1000 years from air in Antarctic ice and firn

A record of atmospheric CO2 mixing ratios from 1006 A.D. to 1978 A.D. has been produced by analysing the air enclosed in three ice cores from Law Dome, Antarctica. The enclosed air has unparalleled

New Ages for the Last Australian Megafauna: Continent-Wide Extinction About 46,000 Years Ago

This work reports burial ages for megafauna from 28 sites and infer extinction across the continent around 46,400 years ago, ruling out extreme aridity at the Last Glacial Maximum as the cause of extinction, but not other climatic impacts; a "blitzkrieg" model of human-induced extinction; or an extended period of anthropogenic ecosystem disruption.