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What is Anthropocene? Why it has been called as the geological epoch of our own making?


What it means?

Anthropocene is a ‘proposed geological epoch’ dating from the commencement of significant human impact on earth’s geology and ecosystem. The researchers believe that it will mark the beginning of new history of earth which may be called as ‘human age’.

Origin of Anthropocene

Paul Crutzen
Paul Crutzen

The word Anthropocene came into limelight after Paul Crutzen, Dutch chemist and Nobel Prize winner used the term in 2000. He was supported by atmospheric scientist Eugene Stoermer.  Crutzen argued that for the last 12,000 years earth’s geological patterns and climate remained relatively stable, but the on-going epoch Holocene might be cut short to start the new one i.e. Anthropocene. In World, 34 member Anthropocene working group (AWG) has been advocating for converting or changing Holocene to Anthropocene. It has also been discussed at the International Geological Congress and claims have been submitted to the International Commission on Stratigraphy to take a final call on the matter.

Markers of Anthropocene

Markers Anthropocene


Evidences of human impact on the planet is overwhelming, but the most sharp marker is the global arrival of ‘Radionuclide’ left over from atomic explosion, nuclear test and nuclear disasters viz. Chernobyl, Fukushima etc since 1945. It is widely spread and will remain in the rock record for millions of years. Recently, studies linking faults and their lubrication by precipitation (due to climate change) have also come infront of the world community. Plastics are now everywhere on earth, from mountain to deep ocean floor. Plastics will eventually sink to the sea floor to become part of the future strata. Most inconvenient truth about the proposed epoch Anthropocene is that the changes brought by humans are so profound that they have become almost irreversible.


The threat from ‘Anthropocene’ is long-lasting, however world community and India is trying hard to resolve the crisis. India has implemented National Action Plan for Climate Change and moving rapidly to adapt renewable energy. India has been appreciated worldwide for ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ resolve declared on World Environment Day.


Dr. S. Fazal Daoud Firdausi

2. Anthropocene