Anthropocene

From Open Risk Manual

Definition

Anthropocene. The proposed name for the current geological age in which human activity has become the dominant influence on the biosphere [1].

The rate, scale, and magnitude of anthropogenic changes in the climate system since the mid-20th century suggested the definition of a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene (Crutzen and Stoermer, 2000; Steffen et al., 2007), referring to an era in which human activity is altering major components of the Earth system and leaving measurable imprints that will remain in the permanent geological record (IPCC, 2018). These alterations include not only climate change itself, but also chemical and biological changes in the Earth system such as rapid ocean acidification due to uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide, massive destruction of tropical forests, a worldwide loss of biodiversity and the sixth mass extinction of species (Hoegh-Guldberg and Bruno, 2010; Ceballos et al., 2017; IPBES, 2019). According to the key messages of the last global assessment of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES, 2019), climate change is a direct driver that is increasingly exacerbating the impact of other drivers on nature and human well-being, and the adverse impacts of climate change on biodiversity are projected to increase with increasing warming.[2]

References

  1. Crutzen and Stoermer, 2000
  2. IPCC, 2021: Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis.