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    China recently announced its intention to peak its carbon-dioxide emissions. How soon could the emissions peak and at what absolute value? Libo Wu explores.
  • The greening of the Southern Hemisphere


    The 2010-2011 La Niña weather event brought lush vegetation to vast semi-arid regions in the Southern Hemisphere and altered the delicate balance of the global carbon sinks. Owen Gaffney explores how La Niña might change in the future and what that might imply.
Published: November 11, 2010
UK:

'The Anthropocene: a new epoch of geological time?'

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Royal Society, Philosphical Transactions A

Theme Issue 'The Anthropocene: a new epoch of geological time?' compiled and edited by Mark Williams, Jan Zalasiewicz, Alan Haywood and Mike Ellis .

The human imprint on the global environment has now become so large and active that
it rivals some of the great forces of Nature in its impact on the functioning of the Earth
system. Although global-scale human influence on the environment has been recognized
since the 1800s, the term Anthropocene, introduced about a decade ago, has only recently
become widely, but informally, used in the global change research community. However,
the term has yet to be accepted formally as a new geological epoch or era in Earth history.
In this paper, we put forward the case for formally recognizing the Anthropocene as a
new epoch in Earth history, arguing that the advent of the Industrial Revolution around
1800 provides a logical start date for the new epoch. We then explore recent trends in
the evolution of the Anthropocene as humanity proceeds into the twenty-first century,
focusing on the profound changes to our relationship with the rest of the living world and
on early attempts and proposals for managing our relationship with the large geophysical
cycles that drive the Earth’s climate system.

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