Introduction: The Anthropocene: A New Age of Humans (03:43)
On this episode of "Catalyst," scientists will examine whether our impact on the Earth has created a new geological epoch. The Holocene is characterized by an extremely stable climate, ideal for human civilization. At Flinders Ranges, Jim Gehling explains how rocks can exhibit previous geological times.
Nature Laid Bare (02:55)
At Flinders Ranges, Jim Gehling and Anja Taylor search for clues of the Ediacaran Period and Cryogenian Period after Snowball Earth. The "golden spike" marks the Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point. The '="golden spike" for the Holcene period is an ice core that records the dramatic jump in CO2 levels.
Impact of Human Development (05:08)
Humans have changed the structure and function of earth's systems. The International Geosphere-Biosphere Program studies the 12 indicators of human activity and 12 indicators of the Earth system for the past 160 years. Will Steffen explains his results.
The Great Acceleration (05:19)
Consumption is the single biggest factor for the increase. The International Commission of Stratigraphy assesses geological evidence for the Anthropocene’s existence. Fossil shapes have also changed.
New Geological Epoch (02:35)
Experts argue whether the Anthropocene can be measured while the Earth is in the epoch. The International Commission of Stratigraphy needs to find conclusive evidence of the geological era change.
Coral Reefs Prove Anthropocene (02:21)
Dr. Janice Lough explains why she studies coral to show changes in geological epochs. Under an ultraviolet light, some density bands grow brighter proving that flooding occurs in higher intensity and more frequently than earlier.
The Last 60 Years (04:51)
Evidence shows a correlation between the nuclear test explosions and the appearance of the Anthropocene period. In order to prevent a two-degree temperature increase across the planet, drastic measures need to be taken.
Credits: The Anthropocene: A New Age of Humans—Catalyst (00:15)
Credits: The Anthropocene: A New Age of Humans—Catalyst
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