14. Have we reached the Anthropocene?
There never existed on the planet a species such as Homo sapiens, a being that evolved at a dizzying speed that allowed it to adapt to any climate, even the cosmos. Homo sapiens took control of the planet and of life itself, whether in the airs, seas or soils of the Earth. Thanks to his intelligence, skills and knowledge, more often than not he achieved positive achievements, but in others his action was to the detriment of other species, extinguishing them or putting them in danger, including himself.
The term “Anthropocene” was coined by Paul Crutzen, Nobel Prize in chemistry, in 2000, although it was recently when a group of specialists gave impetus to the new denomination. Although this has not been accepted, it is a good reference to the current stage of the Earth. The scientists agreed that this period has canceled the Holocene, placing as a division between both periods the year 1950. The beginning of the Holocene, as we know, established the end of the glaciation of Würm, about twelve thousand years ago. The Anthropocene, according to the researchers, begins with the discovery of radioactive waste left by atomic bombs. “We have already changed the Earth: the Anthropocene is the moment in which humans manage to change the life cycle of the planet, when humans remove the planet from its natural variability,” explains Alejandro Cearreta. This Spanish scientist, member of the mentioned group, constituted by 35 specialists, who after seven years of investigations agreed to consider the Anthropocene as a new geological epoch within the Quaternary period.