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Colonization of the Americas, ‘little ice age’ climate, and bombproduced carbon: Their role in defining the anthropocene

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posted on 2018-01-17, 10:28 authored by Jan Zalasiewicz, C. N. Waters, A. D. Barnosky, A Cearreta, Matt Edgeworth, E. C. Ellis, A. Gałuszka, P. L. Gibbard, J. Grinevald, I. Hajdas, J. I. Do Sul, C. Jeandel, R. Leinfelder, J. R. McNeill, C. Poirier, A. Revkin, D. D. B. Richter, W. Steffen, C. Summerhayes, J. P. M. Syvitski, D. Vidas, M. Wagreich, Mark Williams, A. P. Wolfe
A recently published analysis by Lewis and Maslin (Lewis SL and Maslin MA (2015) Defining the Anthropocene. Nature 519: 171–180) has identified two new potential horizons for the Holocene−Anthropocene boundary: 1610 (associated with European colonization of the Americas), or 1964 (the peak of the excess radiocarbon signal arising from atom bomb tests). We discuss both of these novel suggestions, and consider that there is insufficient stratigraphic basis for the former, whereas placing the latter at the peak of the signal rather than at its inception does not follow normal stratigraphical practice. Wherever the boundary is eventually placed, it should be optimized to reflect stratigraphical evidence with the least possible ambiguity.

History

Citation

Anthropocene Review, 2015, 2 (2), pp. 117-127

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/Department of Geology

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Anthropocene Review

Publisher

SAGE Publications

issn

2053-0196

eissn

2053-020X

Copyright date

2015

Available date

2018-01-17

Publisher version

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2053019615587056

Language

en

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