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Anthropocene: Geologists will choose birthplace of a new epoch this year

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Whether we are in a new geological epoch is still up for debate, but geologists have almost decided where on Earth should be the official birthplace of the Anthropocene



Earth



25 January 2022

Crawford Lake in Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario

Crawford Lake in Ontario, one of the candidate sites to mark the dawn of the Anthropocene

wildnerdpix / Alamy

A long-running effort to declare that the global impact of humans is enough to establish a new geological epoch will come to a head this year – when a decision is made on the best site to officially mark the beginning of the Anthropocene.

The past 11,650 or so years form a geological unit of time known as the Holocene, considered a climatically benign epoch in the planet’s history that allowed civilisation to flourish. …

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