P. to A.D. 1750 (Fig. 1) (all B.P. dates in this article are in calibrated calendar years). Perhaps not surprisingly, researchers have often found the most significant indicators of the Holocene–Anthropocene transition, and sometimes the only indicators of interest, within the boundaries of their own discipline. Docetaxel mw In first proposing the use of the term “Anthropocene” for the current geological epoch Crutzen and Stoermer (2000)
identify the latter part of the 18th century as marking the Holocene–Anthropocene boundary because it is over the past two centuries that the global effects of human activities have become clearly noticeable. Although they discuss a wide range of different defining characteristics of the Anthropocene Trametinib epoch (e.g., human population growth, urbanization, mechanized predation of fisheries, modification of landscapes), Crutzen and Stoermer (2000) identify global scale atmospheric changes (increases in carbon dioxide and methane) resulting from the industrial revolution as the key indicator of the onset of the Anthropocene: “This is the period when data retrieved from glacial ice cores show the beginning
of a growth in the atmospheric concentrations of several “greenhouse gases”, in particular CO2 and CH4…Such a starting date also coincides with James Watt’s invention of the steam engine” (Crutzen and Stoermer, 2000, p. 17). At the same time that they propose placing the Holocene–Anthropocene boundary in the second half of the 18th century, and identify a single global scale marker for the transition, Crutzen and Stoermer (2000) also acknowledge that human modification of the earth’s ecosystems Linifanib (ABT-869) has been gradually increasing throughout the post-glacial period of the past 10,000–12,000 years, and that other Holocene–Anthropocene transition points could be proposed: “During the Holocene mankind’s activities gradually grew into a significant geological, morphological force”; “To assign a more specific date to
the onset of the “Anthropocene” seems somewhat arbitrary”; “we are aware that alternative proposals can be made (some may even want to include the entire holocene)” (Crutzen and Stoermer, 2000, p. 17). In a 2011 article, two soil scientists, Giacomo Certini and Riccardo Scalenghe, question whether the Anthropocene starts in the late 18th century, and reject Crutzen and Stoermer’s use of an increase in greenhouse gasses associated with the industrial revolution as an onset marker. They argue that a “change in atmospheric composition is unsuitable as a criterion to define the start of the Anthropocene“, both because greenhouse gas levels do not reflect the “substantial total impact of humans on the total environment “, and because “ice layers, with their sealed contaminated air bubbles lack permanence” since “they are prone to be canceled by ongoing climatic warming” (Certini and Scalenghe, 2011, pp. 1270, 1273).