Yesterday a team of researchers published a new article on the Anthropocene, the proposed new geological era I talked about in class last week. It’s called “The trajectory of the Anthropocene: The Great Acceleration,” and focuses on the period post-1945 when human activity of all forms spiked dramatically. A slew of websites are now reporting on the new research. Here’s a summary statement by the IFLScience! blog post “Humanity Is In The Existential Danger Zone, Study Confirms”:
And so to the very bad news. Given the importance of biodiversity to the functioning of the Earth’s climate and the other planetary boundaries, it is with real dismay that this study adds yet more evidence to the already burgeoning pile that concludes we appear to be doing our best to destroy it as fast as we possibly can.
Bad news indeed. The most significant part of the study is the 24 graphs the authors compiled from their data; together, they argue, these form a “planetary dashboard” of indicators of humanity’s impact upon the planet. Half of them are Socio-Economic and the other are trends in Earth Systems, but the two are deeply intertwined: two strict split between “Social” and “Natural” here — that distinction has disintegrated.