Friday, October 02, 2009

Would an Earth without Humans recover?

Has anyone been watching the series on the Discovery Channel called, life after people? This fascinating program shows the short term repercussions on structures after all Humans have left. Here is an article about a possible cause and the long term effects.

Shaun Saunders sends us in a a new "word for the day" that just screams science fiction to me.

From the pages of New Scientist we read an article about chemist Paul Crutzen who has coined the word Anthropocene. Crutzen coined the word about 10 years ago when he formulated a startlingly new concept. The idea being that human activity is now affecting the Earth so profoundly that we are entering a new geological epoch.

Needless to say, this is far from a universally accepted theory, has yet to be accepted as a geological time period. At it's base is the assumption that in just a few centuries, the pressure humanity is placing on the ecology leads to ecological collapse and a mass extinction. Possible scenarios include a collapse of society, leaving just a few hundred thousand eking out a meager stone age existence.

Most of the argument is based on earlier carbon spikes in past geological periods. And of course mass extinctions are far from unique, however in most of the previous examples, the Earth was substantially different in areas like temperatures.

Read complete article in New Scientist

No comments: