Define the Anthropocene in Terms of the Whole Earth. Hamilton, C. 536(7616):251.
Define the Anthropocene in Terms of the Whole Earth [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
Researchers must consider human impacts on entire Earth systems and not get trapped in discipline-specific definitions, says Clive Hamilton. [Excerpt] The Anthropocene was conceived by Earth-system scientists to capture the very recent rupture in Earth's history arising from the impact of human activity on the Earth system as a whole. Read that again. Take special note of the phrases 'very recent rupture' and 'the Earth system as a whole'. Understanding the Anthropocene, and what humanity now confronts, depends on a firm grasp of these concepts, and that they arise from the new discipline of Earth-system science. Earth-system science takes an integrated approach, so that climate change affects the functioning of not just the atmosphere, but also the hydrosphere, the cryosphere, the biosphere and even the lithosphere. (Arguably, anthropogenic climate change is more an oceanic than an atmospheric phenomenon.) [\n] In the canonical statement of the Anthropocene, the proposed new division in the geological timescale is defined by the observation that the ” human imprint on the global environment has now become so large and active that it rivals some of the great forces of Nature in its impact on the functioning of the Earth system” (W. Steffen et al. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 369, 842-867; 2011). As such, the Anthropocene cannot be defined merely by the broadening impact of people on the environment and natural world, which just extends what we have done for centuries or millennia. [\n] [...] [\n] Probably the most obvious example of scientific misinterpretation of the Anthropocene is the debate about its starting date. Discussions on rival starting dates may seem to have scientific merit, but they distort and dilute the message and the implications of the Anthropocene. [\n] [...] [\n] One thing all these misreadings of the Anthropocene have in common is that they divorce it from modern industrialization and the burning of fossil fuels. In this way, the Anthropocene no longer represents a rupture in Earth history but is a continuation of the kind of impact people have always had. This thereby renders it benign, and the serious and distinct threat of climate change becomes just another human influence. [\n] That so many scientists, often publishing in prestigious journals, can misconstrue the definition of the Anthropocene as nothing more than a measure of the human footprint on the landscape is a sign of how far Earth-system science has to go to change the way many people think about the planet. The new geological epoch does not concern soils, the landscape or the environment, except inasmuch as they are changed as part of a massive shock to the functioning of Earth as a whole. [\n] Some scientists even write: ” Welcome to the Anthropocene.” At first I thought they were being ironic, but now I see they are not. And that's scary. The idea of the Anthropocene is not welcoming. It should frighten us. And scientists should present it as such.
@article{hamiltonDefineAnthropoceneTerms2016,
  title = {Define the {{Anthropocene}} in Terms of the Whole {{Earth}}},
  author = {Hamilton, Clive},
  date = {2016-08},
  journaltitle = {Nature},
  volume = {536},
  pages = {251},
  issn = {0028-0836},
  doi = {10.1038/536251a},
  url = {http://mfkp.org/INRMM/article/14115833},
  abstract = {Researchers must consider human impacts on entire Earth systems and not get trapped in discipline-specific definitions, says Clive Hamilton.

[Excerpt]

The Anthropocene was conceived by Earth-system scientists to capture the very recent rupture in Earth's history arising from the impact of human activity on the Earth system as a whole. Read that again. Take special note of the phrases 'very recent rupture' and 'the Earth system as a whole'. Understanding the Anthropocene, and what humanity now confronts, depends on a firm grasp of these concepts, and that they arise from the new discipline of Earth-system science. Earth-system science takes an integrated approach, so that climate change affects the functioning of not just the atmosphere, but also the hydrosphere, the cryosphere, the biosphere and even the lithosphere. (Arguably, anthropogenic climate change is more an oceanic than an atmospheric phenomenon.)

[\textbackslash n] In the canonical statement of the Anthropocene, the proposed new division in the geological timescale is defined by the observation that the ” human imprint on the global environment has now become so large and active that it rivals some of the great forces of Nature in its impact on the functioning of the Earth system” (W. Steffen et al. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 369, 842-867; 2011). As such, the Anthropocene cannot be defined merely by the broadening impact of people on the environment and natural world, which just extends what we have done for centuries or millennia.

[\textbackslash n] [...]

[\textbackslash n] Probably the most obvious example of scientific misinterpretation of the Anthropocene is the debate about its starting date. Discussions on rival starting dates may seem to have scientific merit, but they distort and dilute the message and the implications of the Anthropocene.

[\textbackslash n] [...]

[\textbackslash n] One thing all these misreadings of the Anthropocene have in common is that they divorce it from modern industrialization and the burning of fossil fuels. In this way, the Anthropocene no longer represents a rupture in Earth history but is a continuation of the kind of impact people have always had. This thereby renders it benign, and the serious and distinct threat of climate change becomes just another human influence.

[\textbackslash n] That so many scientists, often publishing in prestigious journals, can misconstrue the definition of the Anthropocene as nothing more than a measure of the human footprint on the landscape is a sign of how far Earth-system science has to go to change the way many people think about the planet. The new geological epoch does not concern soils, the landscape or the environment, except inasmuch as they are changed as part of a massive shock to the functioning of Earth as a whole.

[\textbackslash n] Some scientists even write: ” Welcome to the Anthropocene.” At first I thought they were being ironic, but now I see they are not. And that's scary. The idea of the Anthropocene is not welcoming. It should frighten us. And scientists should present it as such.},
  keywords = {*imported-from-citeulike-INRMM,~INRMM-MiD:c-14115833,~to-add-doi-URL,anthropic-feedback,anthropocene,anthropogenic-impacts,definition,featured-publication,global-scale,scientific-communication,transdisciplinary-research},
  number = {7616}
}
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