Tag Archives: Anthropocene

Climate clippings 206

1. Revival of pathogens as permafrost melts

As linked by zoot on the last CC, pathogens are emerging as the permafrost melts, some capable of becoming active after long periods of time, even millions of years. There has been one case of anthrax becoming active after being frozen in a dead reindeer for 75 years. Continue reading Climate clippings 206

Behold the dawn of the Anthropocene

It’s not quite done and dusted, but the scientists on the official working group have overwhelmingly declared that the new ‘epoch’ of the Anthropocene has begun in the geological time scale.

Years ago I recall a caller on talkback radio saying that in 50 million years time the only sign of humans will be a layer of toxic slime in the geological record. Stratigraphy is what we are talking about here, so it’s serious. Humans are leaving an imprint on the earth’s crust that will be there forever, or until the dying sun expands, and burns the planet to a crisp. Continue reading Behold the dawn of the Anthropocene

Goodbye Holocene, hello Anthropocene?

It hasn’t happened yet, not officially. The final decision rests with an august scientific body called the International Commission on Stratigraphy, which has a 36-person Working Group on the Anthropocene. Now 24 scientists, including some from the Working Group, have produced a paper advocating for the Anthropocene to be recognised as having begun in the mid-20th century. Continue reading Goodbye Holocene, hello Anthropocene?

New bigger, better hockey stick

Holocene_Temperature_Variations_Rev_300 One of the most contested graphs in climate science has been the hockey stick. Inconveniently for gain-sayers later science has confirmed the shape of the thing as sites such as Skeptical Science and New Scientist confirm.

The hockey stick was confined to temperatures for the last 1000 years. Graphs of the whole Holocene era were rare, although they did exist, as the featured image above. Now a study by Marcott et al has used 73 proxies to study average global temperature for the whole Holocene period of the last 11,300 years. You can read about it at New Scientist, Mother Jones, Climate Progress here and here. Continue reading New bigger, better hockey stick