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Image: Jason de Caires Taylor

Culture

and the Anthropocene

OWEN GAFFNEY
Director of communications, International Geosp...
Image: Jason de Caires Taylor

What is the Anthropocene?
Why is it important?
Oxford dictionary definition
relating to or denoting the current geological
age, viewed as the period during which human
a...
Ice Age ends

Population (billion)

7
6
5

4

Holocene

3
2

1
200,000

70,000 40,000
50,000

12,000 9000 6000
11,000

200...
Population

US Bureau of the Census (2000) International database
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Stef...
Total real GDP

Nordhaus (1997) The economics of new goods. University of Chicago Press
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and ...
Foreign direct investment

World Bank (2002) data and statistics
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steff...
Damming of rivers

World Commission on Dams (2000)
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Water use

Shiklomanov (1990) Global Water Resources
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 200...
Fertiliser consumption

International Fertilizer Industry Association (2002)
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth S...
Urban population

The State of the World’s Cities (2001)
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al...
Paper consumption

Pulp and paper international (1993)
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2...
Motor vehicles

Global environmental outlook (2000)
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Telephones

Canning (2001) A database of world infrastructure stocks, 1950-95 World Bank
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and...
International tourism

World Tourism Organization (2001) Tourism industry trends
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Ear...
Fisheries exploitation

Percentage of global fisheries either fully exploited, overfished or collapsed. Source:
FAOSTAT (2...
Shrimp farm production

IAnnual shrimp production as a proxy for coastal zone alteration. Sources: WRI (2003)
A guide to w...
Domesticated land

Amount of land converted to pasture and cropland. Source: Klein Goldewijk and Battjes (1997)
National I...
Atmospheric CO2 concentration

Etheridge et al. Geophys Res 101: 4115-4128
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth Sys...
Atmospheric N2O concentration

Machida et al Geophys Res Lett 22:2921-2925
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth Sys...
Atmospheric CH4 concentration

Blunier et al J Geophy Res 20: 2219-2222
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System...
Northern hemisphere average surface
temperature

Mann et al Geophys Res Lett 26(6): 759-762
IGBP synthesis: Global Change ...
Ozone depletion

percentage total column ozone loss over Antarctica, using the average annual total
column ozone, 330, as ...
Tropical rainforest and woodland loss

Loss of tropical rainforest and woodland, as estimated for tropical Africa, Latin A...
Natural climatic disasters

Decadal frequency of great floods (one-in-100-year events) after 1860 for basins larger than 2...
Coastal zone nitrogen flux

Model-calculated partitioning of the human-induced nitrogen perturbation fluxes in the global ...
Biodiversity loss

Mathematically calculated rate of extinction. Source: Wilson (1992) The diversity of life, the Penguin ...
Great acceleration

IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Water

Credit: Adam Nieman

Atmosphere
Credit: IGBP/Globaia Owen Gaffney, Felix Pharand Deschenes
Image: Radhika Gupta
Image: Radhika Gupta
Image: Radhika Gupta
Image: Radhika Gupta
Image: Radhika Gupta

Credit: Radhika Gupta
Image: Radhika Gupta

Credit: Radhika Gupta
1992: New York Times journalist Andrew Revkin

“We are entering an age that might
someday be referred to as, say, the
Anth...
1989: U.S writer and activist Bill McKibben
publishes the End of Nature
1980s: U.S. biologist Eugene Stoermer’s (1934-2012)
lectures mention the Anthropocene
NASA Earth rise
Vladimir Verdansky (1863-1945)
GeosphereBiosphere Noösphere

Life is a geological force
Just as the emergence of life
fu...
George Perkins Marsh (1801-1882)
Man and Nature (1864)
The Earth as Modified by
Human Action: Man and
Nature. (1874)

Geor...
Antonio Stoppani (1824-1891)
Corso di geologia
(1873)
„Anthropozoic era‟
…Defined by a “new telluric
force, which in power...
Who decides?
But the rest of the world is
not waiting…
Society in the Anthropocene conference, June 2013, Bristol.
Image: Philippa Bayley
Andrew Barry, University of Oxford
“The idea of the Anthropocene
…represents a remarkable
intervention by the geosciences ...
“The concept of the

ANTHROPOCENE
heralds a profound
shift in PERCEPTION
of our place in the
WORLD.”
Nobel Laureate Elinor...
Image: Jason de Caires Taylor
Image: Jason de Caires Taylor
Image: David Thomas Smith
Could the Anthropocene mark a cultural paradigm shift?
Thank you!
OWEN GAFFNEY
Director of communications
International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme
Botswana November 2013

Owe...
Anthropocene and culture dec 2013 web
Anthropocene and culture dec 2013 web
Anthropocene and culture dec 2013 web
Anthropocene and culture dec 2013 web
Anthropocene and culture dec 2013 web
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Anthropocene and culture dec 2013 web

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Anthropocene and culture dec 2013 web

  1. 1. Image: Jason de Caires Taylor Culture and the Anthropocene OWEN GAFFNEY Director of communications, International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme Botswana, November 2013
  2. 2. Image: Jason de Caires Taylor What is the Anthropocene? Why is it important?
  3. 3. Oxford dictionary definition relating to or denoting the current geological age, viewed as the period during which human activity has been been the dominant influence on climate and the environment. Image: Felix Pharand Deschenes
  4. 4. Ice Age ends Population (billion) 7 6 5 4 Holocene 3 2 1 200,000 70,000 40,000 50,000 12,000 9000 6000 11,000 200 Time (years before present)
  5. 5. Population US Bureau of the Census (2000) International database IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  6. 6. Total real GDP Nordhaus (1997) The economics of new goods. University of Chicago Press IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  7. 7. Foreign direct investment World Bank (2002) data and statistics IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  8. 8. Damming of rivers World Commission on Dams (2000) IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  9. 9. Water use Shiklomanov (1990) Global Water Resources IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  10. 10. Fertiliser consumption International Fertilizer Industry Association (2002) IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  11. 11. Urban population The State of the World’s Cities (2001) IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  12. 12. Paper consumption Pulp and paper international (1993) IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  13. 13. Motor vehicles Global environmental outlook (2000) IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  14. 14. Telephones Canning (2001) A database of world infrastructure stocks, 1950-95 World Bank IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  15. 15. International tourism World Tourism Organization (2001) Tourism industry trends IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  16. 16. Fisheries exploitation Percentage of global fisheries either fully exploited, overfished or collapsed. Source: FAOSTAT (2002) Statistical databases IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  17. 17. Shrimp farm production IAnnual shrimp production as a proxy for coastal zone alteration. Sources: WRI (2003) A guide to world resources, 2002-2004 IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  18. 18. Domesticated land Amount of land converted to pasture and cropland. Source: Klein Goldewijk and Battjes (1997) National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). Bilthoven, Netherlands IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  19. 19. Atmospheric CO2 concentration Etheridge et al. Geophys Res 101: 4115-4128 IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  20. 20. Atmospheric N2O concentration Machida et al Geophys Res Lett 22:2921-2925 IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  21. 21. Atmospheric CH4 concentration Blunier et al J Geophy Res 20: 2219-2222 IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  22. 22. Northern hemisphere average surface temperature Mann et al Geophys Res Lett 26(6): 759-762 IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  23. 23. Ozone depletion percentage total column ozone loss over Antarctica, using the average annual total column ozone, 330, as a base. Image: J.D. Shanklin, British Antarctic Survey IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  24. 24. Tropical rainforest and woodland loss Loss of tropical rainforest and woodland, as estimated for tropical Africa, Latin America and South and Southeast Asia. Sources: Richards (1990) In: The Earth as transformed by human action, Cambridge University Press IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  25. 25. Natural climatic disasters Decadal frequency of great floods (one-in-100-year events) after 1860 for basins larger than 200 000 km2 with observations that span at least 30 years. Source: Milly et al. (2002) Nature 415:514-517 IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  26. 26. Coastal zone nitrogen flux Model-calculated partitioning of the human-induced nitrogen perturbation fluxes in the global coastal margin for the period since 1850. Source: Mackenzie et al. (2002) Chem. Geology 190:13-32 IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  27. 27. Biodiversity loss Mathematically calculated rate of extinction. Source: Wilson (1992) The diversity of life, the Penguin Press. IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  28. 28. Great acceleration IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  29. 29. Water Credit: Adam Nieman Atmosphere
  30. 30. Credit: IGBP/Globaia Owen Gaffney, Felix Pharand Deschenes
  31. 31. Image: Radhika Gupta
  32. 32. Image: Radhika Gupta
  33. 33. Image: Radhika Gupta
  34. 34. Image: Radhika Gupta
  35. 35. Image: Radhika Gupta Credit: Radhika Gupta
  36. 36. Image: Radhika Gupta Credit: Radhika Gupta
  37. 37. 1992: New York Times journalist Andrew Revkin “We are entering an age that might someday be referred to as, say, the Anthrocene [sic]. After all, it is a geological age of our own making.” Global Warming: Understanding the forecast
  38. 38. 1989: U.S writer and activist Bill McKibben publishes the End of Nature
  39. 39. 1980s: U.S. biologist Eugene Stoermer’s (1934-2012) lectures mention the Anthropocene
  40. 40. NASA Earth rise
  41. 41. Vladimir Verdansky (1863-1945) GeosphereBiosphere Noösphere Life is a geological force Just as the emergence of life fundamentally transformed the geosphere, the emergence of human cognition fundamentally transforms the biosphere. Image: Memorial Office Museum of Academician VI Verdansky Moscow. Vernadsky and Teilhard de Chardin used the term “noösphere” – the world of thought – to mark the growing role of human brain-power in shaping its own future and environment.
  42. 42. George Perkins Marsh (1801-1882) Man and Nature (1864) The Earth as Modified by Human Action: Man and Nature. (1874) George P. Marsh, photographed by Mathew B. Brady between 1855 and 1865. Brady-Handy Collection (Library of Congress). [call number: BH8201-4981; reproduction number: LC-BH82014981 DLC (b&w film copy neg.)
  43. 43. Antonio Stoppani (1824-1891) Corso di geologia (1873) „Anthropozoic era‟ …Defined by a “new telluric force, which in power and universality may be compared to the greater forces of earth.” Image: Paleontologica Lombarda
  44. 44. Who decides?
  45. 45. But the rest of the world is not waiting…
  46. 46. Society in the Anthropocene conference, June 2013, Bristol. Image: Philippa Bayley
  47. 47. Andrew Barry, University of Oxford “The idea of the Anthropocene …represents a remarkable intervention by the geosciences into the field of politics...an attempt by the geosciences to move aboveground.” 2012 © Owen Gaffney
  48. 48. “The concept of the ANTHROPOCENE heralds a profound shift in PERCEPTION of our place in the WORLD.” Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom (1933-2012) Planet Under Pressure Photo credit: Chris Meyer
  49. 49. Image: Jason de Caires Taylor
  50. 50. Image: Jason de Caires Taylor
  51. 51. Image: David Thomas Smith
  52. 52. Could the Anthropocene mark a cultural paradigm shift?
  53. 53. Thank you! OWEN GAFFNEY Director of communications International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme Botswana November 2013 Owen.gaffney@igbp.kva.se Twitter: @owengaffney @igbpcomms www.igbp.net

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