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The Anthropocene Debate Intensifies

25 April 2024
In a recent development, the Subcommison on Quaternary Stratigraphy (SQS) of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) has made a decisive move regarding the proposed starting point of the Anthropocene epoch.

After a decade-long discussion, the SQS rejected the idea of marking the mid-20th century 'Great Acceleration' as the Anthropocene's inception, signaling a pivotal moment in the ongoing debate over defining this new geological era.

The concept of the Anthropocene, coined by chemist Paul Crutzen in 2000, has garnered significant attention across academic and popular circles. It signifies a period marked by humanity's profound impact on Earth's surface, biosphere, and atmosphere, evident in alarming phenomena like climate change, biodiversity loss, and social transitions. But what does this rejection mean for our understanding of the Anthropocene? Dive deeper into the discussion by reading the recent blog post from the first VU Distinguished Fellow of the Anthropocene, Dr Sjoerd Kluving. In the article he delves into the SQS decision and its implications for our planet's future.

Read Sjoerd's blog post here

Continue your exploration by checking out the lecture series "What is the Anthropocene?" This engaging series, led by experts in the field, offers valuable insights into the challenges of our planetary polycrisis. The series highlights many diverse perspectives including economics, health, justice, ecosystems and more.