Why the possible switch? Anthropocene is a currently unofficial term meaning "Age of Man," first used in 2000 by ecologist Eugene Stoermer. Many scientists are thinking such a change is in order since humans are having such widespread effects on the planet- effects that can be measured in the geologic record. According to Science News, such factors include radioactive elements from atomic bomb tests spreading through the environment, the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and sediment trapped by dams.
Interested in learning more? Check out the following:
- Define the term and get the facts from the Encyclopedia of Earth
- Read NPR's article "The Anthropocene: Can Humans Survive a Human Age?"
- Watch "Cartography of the Anthropocene," a video clip from international education organization Globaia, mapping the networks that connect humanity.
- Check out books from the Water Library about our changing planet: climate change, water conservation, and more.