Great article in this week's Science "Defining the epoch we live in: Is a formally designated Anthropocene a good idea?" by Bill Ruddiman, Erle Ellis, Jed Kaplan and Dorian Fuller.
Ruddiman and others make a valid point. But the question still remains if some of the earlier events noted by Ruddiman and others denote a principal correlation event recorded in stratigraphic material that can serve as a GSSP boundary (golden spike). Lewis and Maslin (2015) articulate this issue very well. I think the debate calls for even more rigorous and systematic study of human impacts across the globe.
The debate also raises some important questions. Can we resolve and agree upon a boundary using traditional geological approach? Maybe not, and perhaps that is what Ruddiman et al. are alluding to here. Does defining the anthropocene require some other means than classic stratigraphy? Are we witnessing an emerging scientific discipline, "anthropocene science" that is more integrative and includes several disciplines?
...is a geoscience research lab in Murray, KY USA. The lab is directed by Gary Stinchcomb, an Assistant Professor of Geosciences at Murray State University who holds a joint appointment with the Watershed Studies Institute.
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In the Watershed Studies Institute & Department of Geosciences, Murray State University