The Anthropocene, a term launched into public debate by Nobel Prize winner Paul Crutzen, has been used informally to describe the time period during which human actions have had a drastic effect on the Earth and its ecosystems. This book presents evidence for defining the Anthropocene as a geological epoch, written by the high-profile international team analysing its potential addition to the geological time scale. The evidence ranges from chemical signals arising from pollution, to landscape changes associated with urbanisation, and biological changes associated with species invasion and extinctions. Global environmental change is placed within the context of planetary processes and deep geological time, allowing the reader to appreciate the scale of human-driven change and compare the global transition taking place today with major transitions in Earth history. This is an authoritative review of the Anthropocene for graduate students and academic researchers across scientific, social science and humanities disciplines.
1. History and development of the Anthropocene as a stratigraphical concept Jan Zalasiewicz, Colin Waters, Mark Williams, Colin Summerhayes, Martin Head, Reinhold Leinfelder, Jacques Grinevald, John McNeill, Naomi Oreskes, Will Steffen, Scott Wing, Phil Gibbard, Davor Vidas, Trevor Hancock and Anthony Barnosky; 2. Stratigraphic signatures of the Anthropocene Bob Hazen, Jan Zalasiewicz, Colin Waters, Andy Smith, Neil Rose, Agnieszka Gałuszka, An Zhisheng, Simon Price, Daniel deB. Richter, Sharon A Billings, James Syvitski and Colin Summerhayes; 3. The biostratigraphical signature of the Anthropocene Mark Williams, Anthony Barnosky, Jan Zalasiewicz, Martin Head, Ian Wilkinson, David Aldridge, Colin Waters, Valentin Bault and Reinhold Leinfelder; 4. The tectonosphere and its physical stratigraphical record Peter Haff, Jan Zalasiewicz, Colin Waters, Mark Williams, Anthony Barnosky, Reinhold Leinfelder and Juliana Ivar do Sul; 5. Anthropocene chemostratigraphy Ian Fairchild, Jan Zalasiewicz, Colin Summerhayes, Colin Waters, Reinhold Leinfelder, Agnieszka Gałuszka, Michael Wagreich, Neil Rose, Irka Hajdas and Catherine Jeandel; 6. Climate change and the Anthropocene Colin Summerhayes and Alejandro Cearreta; 7. The stratigraphical boundary of the Anthropocene Jan Zalasiewicz, Colin Waters, Mark Williams, Colin Summerhayes, Eric Odada, Michael Wagreich, Erich Draganits, Matt Edgeworth, J. R. McNeill, Will Steffen and Martin Head; References; Index.