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Title: The Anthropocene is functionally and stratigraphically distinct from the Holocene
Authors: Waters, Colin N.
Zalasiewicz, Jan
Summerhayes, Colin
Barnosky, Anthony D.
Poirier, Clément
Gałuszka, Agnieszka
Cearreta, Alejandro
Edgeworth, Matt
Ellis, Erle C.
Ellis, Michael
Jeandel, Catherine
Leinfelder, Reinhold
McNeill, J. R.
Richter, Daniel deB.
Steffen, Will
Syvitski, James
Vidas, Davor
Wagreich, Michael
Williams, Mark
Zhisheng, An
Grinevald, Jacques
Odada, Eric
Oreskes, Naomi
Wolfe, Alexander P.
First Published: 8-Jan-2016
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Citation: Science, 2016, 351 (6269), aad2622
Abstract: Human activity is leaving a pervasive and persistent signature on Earth. Vigorous debate continues about whether this warrants recognition as a new geologic time unit known as the Anthropocene. We review anthropogenic markers of functional changes in the Earth system through the stratigraphic record. The appearance of manufactured materials in sediments, including aluminum, plastics, and concrete, coincides with global spikes in fallout radionuclides and particulates from fossil fuel combustion. Carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycles have been substantially modified over the past century. Rates of sea-level rise and the extent of human perturbation of the climate system exceed Late Holocene changes. Biotic changes include species invasions worldwide and accelerating rates of extinction. These combined signals render the Anthropocene stratigraphically distinct from the Holocene and earlier epochs.
DOI Link: 10.1126/science.aad2622
ISSN: 0036-8075
eISSN: 1095-9203
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2016 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Geology

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