Brock researchers featured in media reports on Earth’s new geologic epoch

Brock University is among the forefront of global efforts to define a new epoch in Earth’s geologic record called the ‘Anthropocene,’ which is capturing worldwide interest.

The Sunday, Dec. 18 edition of The New York Times featured a front-page article quoting Earth Sciences Professors Francine McCarthy and Martin Head on the establishment of this new interval of geologic history.

“The public attention that this earth science initiative has received is somewhat surprising, but it is evidence that concern for our planet — and awareness of our impact on it — has become mainstream,” says McCarthy.

McCarthy was also featured in the CBC’s Saturday, Dec. 3 episode of Quirks and Quarks. In that interview, she explained how the experts are examining sites around the world — including Crawford Lake in Milton, Ontario — to find one location where the boundary layer between the two epochs is most evident.

Other recent media coverage includes: “Sommes-nous entrés dans l’anthropocène?,” published Wednesday, Aug. 3, in L’actualité;Searching for evidence of the Anthropocene,” published Thursday, July 21 in Geographical Magazine; and a summary of geological evidence from all the candidate sites, ‘Defining the onset of the Anthropocene’, published in volume 378 of Science on Friday, Nov. 18.

McCarthy and Head are members of the Anthropocene Working Group (AWG), a panel of international experts examining materials — including radiation from atomic bombs, fertilizers, plastics, greenhouse gases, among others — arising out of human activities that are preserved in the geologic record.

The AWG is expected to recommend the proposed ‘golden spike’ for the Anthropocene to the Subcommission on Quaternary Science of the International Commission on Stratigraphy this winter.

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