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Re: New Geologic Epoch

evelyn sobielski writes:

Australia has been under significant _Homo sapiens_
influence since 40.000 BC or so.

Probably more like 50-60 thousand years. The old 40,000 year date had more to do with the practical limit of radiocarbon dating than anything else.

For most of the
world, the Anthropocene is more or less = Holocene.
The more recent cutoff dates are when the process
becomes really conspicuous, not when it starts.

Most of Australia's so-called 'natural' plant ecology is actually an artefact of human behaviour. Many of us of European descent tend to think that the best thing we can do for Australia's national parks is to fence them off and leave them alone. Unfortunately Australia's landscape has come to depend on frequent controlled human burning. Now that this is no longer practiced in many areas, we instead get infrequent massive fire storms that do far more harm than frequent lesser fires would. Often the only reason that controlled burns aren't conducted regularly is because they make national park areas look temporarily unappealing, and thus threaten the tourist dollars they attract. Apparently the lives and homes of people who live nearby are of secondary concern...

So yes - human activity made a significant impact on the environment (and no doubt geology) of Australia far earlier than just a few centuries ago. Perhaps an earlier Australo-Anthropocene would be in order?


Dann Pigdon
GIS / Archaeologist              http://geo_cities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia             http://heretichides.soffiles.com