We use cookies on this site. By browsing our site you agree to our use of cookies. Close this message Find out more

Home > About us home > News and events > Events > Gordon Manley Lecture 2018
More in this section Events articles

Gordon Manley Lecture 2018

Location
Queens Building Lecture Theatre
Date(s)
08/02/2018 (18:15)
Description
Mark Maslin (Hardcastle (002)

Defining the Anthropocene: Reinterpreting human history and our impact on the planet

Professor Mark Maslin, Department of Geography, University College London
 

There is general scientific agreement that human activity has been a geologically recent, yet profound, influence on the Earth System. Humans have in fact become a geological superpower on a par with plate tectonics or a meteorite impact. It has, therefore been proposed that we should refer to the present, not as within the Holocene Epoch but instead as within the Anthropocene Epoch. But when did the Anthropocene start? There have been five major types of human society: hunter-gatherer, agriculturalist, mercantile capitalist, industrial capitalist and consumer capitalist. The transitions between each were dramatic and significantly increased the impact of humans on the Earth. By using the fundamental principles of stratigraphy only two of these transitions can provide the geological golden spike required. 1) the irreversible cross-ocean exchange of species that started in the 16th century, marked by the 1610 minima of CO2 (Orbis Spike) and 2) the accelerating atmospheric, oceanic and terrestrial changes in the second half of the 20th century, referred to as the Great Acceleration and conveniently marked by the 1964 peak radionuclide fallout (Bomb Spike). Defining a human geological epoch will have a profound impact way beyond science and will influence philosophy, history, geography and even geopolitics.

Free public lecture - all welcome

Pre-booking on Eventbrite essenttial

Book your tickets here


   
 
 
 

Comment on this page

Did you find the information you were looking for? Is there a broken link or content that needs updating? Let us know so we can improve the page.

Note: If you need further information or have a question that cannot be satisfied by this page, please call our switchboard on +44 (0)1784 434455.

This window will close when you submit your comment.

Add Your Feedback
Close