October 1, 2009: The anthropocene and anthropogenic biomes: a new way of understanding and measuring human impact on the earth

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OCTOBER 1, 2009: The anthropocene and anthropogenic biomes: a new way of understanding and measuring human impact on the earth 

The Anthropocene defines Earth's most recent geologic time period as being human-influenced, or anthropogenic, based on overwhelming global evidence that atmospheric, geologic, hydrologic, biospheric and other earth system processes are now altered by humans. The word combines the root "anthropo," meaning "human" with the root "-cene," the standard suffix for "epoch" in geologic time. The Anthropocene is distinguished as a new period either after or within the "Holocene," the current epoch, which began approximately 10,000 years ago (about 8000 BC) with the end of the last glacial period. Anthropocene is a new term, proposed in 2000 by Nobel Prize winning scientist Paul Crutzen. Crutzen noted that the term originated in 2000 at "a conference where someone said something about the Holocene. I suddenly thought this was wrong. The world has changed too much. So I said: ‘No, we are in the Anthropocene.' I just made up the word on the spur of the moment. Everyone was shocked. But it seems to have stuck." Crutzen then proceeded to use the term in print in 2000. In 2008, Zalasiewicz and colleagues published the first proposal for the formal adoption of the Anthropocene epoch by geologists, and this adoption is now pending.


Prof. Ellis's work focuses on understanding the ecology of densely populated landscapes as they are transformed by population growth and industrially-based technologies.  He is particularly concerned by the global and local environmental impacts of land use change and the very high nutrient inputs that are now used to sustain food security in the villages of developing countries. Recently, he has been conducting work across rural China as principal investigator of the project Long-Term Biogeochemical Changes in China's Anthropogenic Landscapes. He has also been investigating anthropogenic biomes, the global ecological patterns produced by human/environment interactions. http://www.ecotope.org/people/ellis/

Dr. Erle Ellis
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Fecha de la creaciónMiércoles, Octubre 28, 2009 3:10 PM
Fecha de la modificaciónMiércoles, Enero 20, 2010 5:35 PM
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