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The Anthropocene as an epoch is distinct from all other concepts known by this term: a reply to Swindles et al. (2023)

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 11:51 authored by MJ Head, CN Waters, JA Zalasiewicz, AD Barnosky, SD Turner, A Cearreta, R Leinfelder, FMG McCarthy, DDB Richter, NL Rose, Y Saito, D Vidas, M Wagreich, Y Han, CP SumMerhayes, M Williams, J Zinke

Swindles et al. (2023) correctly point out that there are manyconceptions of the‘Anthropocene’in use, and they argue thatthis flexibility in terminology is desirable. We agree that themultiple uses of this term have stimulated much scholarlydebate, but we contend that precision in terminology is farmore desirable than vagueness, and promotes more productivecommunication. We also emphasise that an evidence‐basedapproach in defining the Anthropocene strongly argues for itsformal definition as a geological epoch with an onset in themid‐20th century. As members of the Anthropocene WorkingGroup (AWG), the body charged with investigating theAnthropocene as a new unit of geological time, we offeralternative perspectives to key assertions made by Swindleset al. (2023).

History

Author affiliation

School of Geography, Geology and the Environment, University of Leicester

Published in

Journal of Quaternary Science

Volume

38

Issue

4

Pagination

455-458

Publisher

Wiley

issn

0267-8179

eissn

1099-1417

Copyright date

2023

Language

en

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