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BI 314 Evolutionary Ecology Practical ESSAY. Concept of Anthropocene

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School of Science & Technology
Division of Biological Science
BI 314 – EVOLUTIONARY ECOLOGY
Lab Practical Essay
Due Date: 06/08 /201
Student: KUNUYOBU Samson
ID No: 2015311312
Program: B.Ed-Ps 3
Major: Biology
Lecturer/Tutor: Mr Jerry ANAE
The Concept of the Anthropocene as a New Geological Epoch
The earth’s planetary degradation caused by humans, such as species extinction, unsustainable farming,
toxic waste, climate change, and the high level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and other
environmental changes possess a new earth’s time scale, (Carey J, 2016). The term ‘anthropocene’ has
brought an alarming scientific debate between environmentalists, ecologists and geologists in the world
today. Crutzen P., (2010), states that the earth is no longer in the Holocene anymore since the earth’s
geology has been changed by human activities. He popularised it in 2000 by stating that the earth is now
in a new epoch. Crutzen P., (2000), described the earth’s condition now as the ‘Anthropocene,’
(‘’anthropo’’ means human and ‘’cene’’ means new) and he proposed the new epoch would be the
‘ANTHROPOCENE’ for the earth’s geological time scale.
The planetary changes led many scientists to argue about a new epoch. In 2000, the Dutch atmospheric
chemist, Paul Crutzen, popularised and put forward the concept of the ‘’Anthropocene’’ as a new
geological time scale, (Stromberg J., 2013).
There are several geologists and the professional
organisations such as the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP) (www.igbp.net) have
debated about the anthropocene, whether to declare or not officially to declare as a new epoch, (Carey J,
2016). However, this essay favours the idea of Paul Crutzen. The anthropocene should be the next epoch
for the earth’s geological time scale.
Humans have caused mass extinction to plant and animal species on earth and caused greater
environmental changes since the beginning of the industrial evolution, (Crutzen and Stoermer, 2000). In
addition, humans have become the major driving force for the global changes, species extinction, high
level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and other planetary changes in the biophysical environment.
Many countries are now experiencing strange weather patterns, rising sea level and other global
environmental problems as a result of the human activities on earth. It is shown that the earth is going to
another era. The geological evidence is not really necessary for the new epoch.
The ecologists and environmentalists built up evidences for the concept of the anthropocene based on the
impacts of humans towards the natural environments, (Olsson P.,et.al., 2017). Regardless of the final
scientific decision about the epoch, the concept of the Anthropocene is a powerful and it guides our
attention to the human-interactions toward environments or ecological innovations. Though the geologists
and many stratigraphers argued and criticized the idea of anthropocene, it is undeniable impacts on the
environment at the scale of the planet as a whole. It is so much clear that it should be a new geological
epoch since many environmental issues have discovered today caused by the human interactions with the
natural environment. I argued in this essay that we are living in the era of the anthropocene. It may be still
powerful device which draws our attention to link the nature of global ecological problems today.
REFERENCE LIST
1. Crutzen P and Stoermer EF(2010). Have we entered the Anthropocine? IGBPNewsletter. Retrieved
from www.igbp.net
2. Stromberg J, (2013). What Is the Anthropocene and Are We in It? Retrieved from
http:www.smithsonianmag.com
3. Crutzen PJ (2000). Geology of mankind. Nature 415(6867):23.
4. Carey J (2016). Are we in the “Anthropocene”? vol. 113. no. 15. Retrieved from
www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1603152113
5. Olsson, P., M.-L. Moore, F. R. Westley, and D. D. P. McCarthy, (2017). The concept of the
Anthropocene as a game-changer: a new context for social innovation and transformations to
sustainability. Ecology and Society 22(2):31. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.5751/ ES-09310-220231
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