When you use it that way, “anthro” sounds downright nasty. That’s because the newly declared Anthropocene is an epoch of terrible extinctions and toxic, radioactive and erosion pollutants – not to mention melting ice caps or monster storms.
In its report to the International Geological Congress, the Anthropocene Working Group made the case that overwhelming evidence proves the earth entered a new geological epoch around 1950. The AWG proposed to move towards official adoption in the next 2-3 years.
Colin Waters, secretary of the AWG, told the press: “Being able to pinpoint an interval of time is saying something about how we have had an incredible impact on the environment of our planet. The concept of the Anthropocene manages to pull all these ideas of environmental change together.”
All but one of the AWG’s 35 members agree that the Anthropocene is “stratigraphically real” (one abstained) and 30 agree (2 opposed, 3 abstentions) that the new epoch should be formally added to the Geological Time Scale.