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Welcome to the Anthropocene

Lewis, SL; Maslin, MA; (2018) Welcome to the Anthropocene. IPPR Progressive Review , 25 (2) pp. 214-219. 10.1111/newe.12101. Green open access

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Abstract

How can we live well on the human planet? The impacts of human actions on our home planet are now so large that many scientists are declaring a new phase of Earth's history. The old forces of nature that transformed Earth many millions of years ago, including meteorites and mega‐volcanoes are joined by another: us. We have entered a new human‐dominated epoch of geological time called the Anthropocene. While the Anthropocene means many things to many people, at its core this combination of the Greek words for ‘humans’ and ‘recent time’, means that the scale of human affairs is increasingly dictating the future of the only place in the universe known to harbour life. The scale of human impacts on Earth's workings is immense. Globally, human activities move more soil, rock and sediment each year than is transported by all other natural processes combined. Factories and farming remove as much nitrogen from the atmosphere as all Earth's natural processes, and the global climate is warming fast following carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use. These planetary‐scale changes rival any in Earth's geological history.

Type: Article
Title: Welcome to the Anthropocene
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/newe.12101
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/newe.12101
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10062844
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