From a combination of anthropo- + -cene modeled on Holocene, Pleistocene, and similar. First attested in the 1960s in the translations of Russian-language scientific articles, possibly with a different meaning. Supposedly coined independently in the 1980s by American biologist Eugene Stoermer and later popularized by Dutch atmospheric chemist Paul J. Crutzen in 2000.
- (geology) The proposed current geological epoch, in which the effect of human activities on the global environment have disrupted the natural variability of the Holocene. [from 1960s]
- 1960, Doklady. Biological Sciences Sections, volume 132–135, Washington, D.C.: American Institute of Biological Sciences, ISSN 0012-4966, OCLC 501426146, page 640, column 2:
- 1967, Doklady of the Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R.: Earth Sciences Sections, volume 172–177, Washington, D.C.: American Geological Institute, ISSN 0012-494X, OCLC 828201306, page 62, column 2:
- The above palynologic data indicate that the evolutionary history of vegetation in the upper reaches of the Indigirka during the Holocene was much more complex than has been thought and than is reflected in the existing stratigraphic maps of the Anthropocene of the Northeast USSR […].
- 2000 May, Paul J[ozef] Crutzen; Eugene F. Stoermer, “The ‘Anthropocene’”, in Will Steffen, editor, Global Change Newsletter, number 41, Stockholm, Sweden: IGBP Secretariat, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, ISSN 0284-5865, archived from the original on 9 October 2017, page 17:
- Considering these and many other major and still growing impacts of human activities on earth and atmosphere, and at all, including global, scales, it seems to us more than appropriate to emphasize the central role of mankind in geology and ecology by proposing to use the term "anthropocene" for the current geological epoch.
- 2012 January–February, Donald Worster, “A Drier and Hotter Future [review of A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest (2011) by William deBuys]”, in American Scientist, volume 100, number 1, archived from the original on 1 May 2017, page 70:
- Phoenix [in Arizona] and Lubbock [in Texas] are both caught in severe drought, and it is going to get much worse. We may see many such [dust] storms in the decades ahead, along with species extinctions, radical disturbance of ecosystems, and intensified social conflict over land and water. Welcome to the Anthropocene, the epoch when humans have become a major geological and climatic force.
- 2013 July 20, “Welcome to the Plastisphere: What is Pollution to Some is Opportunity to Others”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845, archived from the original on 31 July 2013:
- Plastics are energy-rich substances, which is why many of them burn so readily. Any organism that could unlock and use that energy would do well in the Anthropocene. Terrestrial bacteria and fungi which can manage this trick are already familiar to experts in the field.
- 2020 April 9, Richard Horton, “Coronavirus is the greatest global science policy failure in a generation”, in The Guardian:
- We’re supposed to be living through the Anthropocene, an era where human activity has become the dominant influence on the environment. The idea of the Anthropocene conjures notions of human omnipotence.
The term has not been adopted in the official geological nomenclature.
- ^ “Anthropocene”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
- ^ Andrew C. Revkin (11 May 2011), “Confronting the ‘Anthropocene’”, in The New York Times, archived from the original on 23 August 2017.
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