Period of Debate

Erle Ellis, Mark Maslin, Nicole Boivin and Andrew Bauer, “Involve social scientists in defining the Anthropocene,” Nature 540 (December 2016), 192–193

Jan Zalasiewicz, Colin Waters and Martin J. Head, “Anthropocene: its stratigraphic basis,” Nature 541 (January 2017), 289

Karen L. Bacon and Graeme T. Swindles, “Could a potential Anthropocene mass extinction define a new geological period?” Anthropocene Review 3:3 (2016), 208–17

Philip L. Gibbard and John Lewin, “Partitioning the Quaternary,” Quaternary Science Reviews 151 (2016), 127–39

Last week’s paper is the most systematic recent contribution to the debate about the Anthropocene’s stratigraphic formalization. Here’s a round-up of a few others. Continue reading “Period of Debate”


New Papers from the Anthropocene Working Group (part 5)

Jan Zalasiewicz et al., “Making the case for a formal Anthropocene Epoch: an analysis of ongoing critiques,” Newsletters on Stratigraphy 50:2 (2017)

What’s been needed to move forward the debate about formalizing the Anthropocene epoch as a new entry in the official Geologic Time Scale? A paper exactly like this one. Over the last five years a string of papers have been published critiquing the Anthropocene as a geological concept. They’ve contained substantive arguments and weaker arguments; they’ve added to and overlapped with one another. In this paper, the AWG members (with one notable additional contributor) systematise and respond to those critiques. It’s invaluable, clarifying work. Continue reading “New Papers from the Anthropocene Working Group (part 5)”