Document Detail

The Anthropocene: are humans now overwhelming the great forces of Nature?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18240674     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
We explore the development of the Anthropocene, the current epoch in which humans and our societies have become a global geophysical force. The Anthropocene began around 1800 with the onset of industrialization, the central feature of which was the enormous expansion in the use of fossil fuels. We use atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration as a single, simple indicator to track the progression of the Anthropocene. From a preindustrial value of 270-275 ppm, atmospheric carbon dioxide had risen to about 310 ppm by 1950. Since then the human enterprise has experienced a remarkable explosion, the Great Acceleration, with significant consequences for Earth System functioning. Atmospheric CO2 concentration has risen from 310 to 380 ppm since 1950, with about half of the total rise since the preindustrial era occurring in just the last 30 years. The Great Acceleration is reaching criticality. Whatever unfolds, the next few decades will surely be a tipping point in the evolution of the Anthropocene.
Will Steffen; J Crutzen; John R McNeill
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Ambio     Volume:  36     ISSN:  0044-7447     ISO Abbreviation:  Ambio     Publication Date:  2007 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-02-04     Completed Date:  2008-03-11     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0364220     Medline TA:  Ambio     Country:  Sweden    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  614-21     Citation Subset:  IM    
Fenner School of Environmental and Society, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Earth (Planet)*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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