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The Anthropocene
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Title: Earliest evidence of pollution by heavy metals in archaeological sites
Author: Guadalupe Monge, Francisco J. Jimenez-Espejo, Antonio García-Alix, Francisca Martínez-Ruiz, Nadine Mattielli, Clive Finlayson, Naohiko Ohkouchi, Miguel Cortés Sánchez, Jose María Bermúdez de Castro, Ruth Blasco, Jordi Rosell, José Carrión, Joaquín Rodríguez-Vidal & Geraldine Finlayson

Homo species were exposed to a new biogeochemical environment when they began to occupy caves. Here we report the first evidence of palaeopollution through geochemical analyses of heavy metals in four renowned archaeological caves of the Iberian Peninsula spanning the last million years of human evolution. Heavy metal contents reached high values due to natural (guano deposition) and anthropogenic factors (e.g. combustion) in restricted cave environments. The earliest anthropogenic pollution evidence is related to Neanderthal hearths from Gorham's Cave (Gibraltar), being one of the first milestones in the so-"Anthropocene".

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RE: The Anthropocene Epoch
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Epoch-defining study pinpoints when humans came to dominate planet Earth

The human-dominated geological epoch known as the Anthropocene probably began around the year 1610, with an unusual drop in atmospheric carbon dioxide and the irreversible exchange of species between the New and Old Worlds, according to new research published today in Nature.
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Leaving our mark: Fossils of the future

From our cities, to our farms, to our rubbish, humans have firmly stamped their mark across the planet. In part one of a two-part feature, Andrew Luck-Baker, from the BBC's Radio Science Unit, explores the legacy our civilisation will leave in the rocks of the future.
Humanity's impact on the globe is so great and varied that we have launched a new geological time period in the Earth's history. Its name is the Anthropocene - the human epoch.

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TEDxCanberra - Will Steffen - The Anthropocene



Executive Director of the Australian National University's Climate Change Institute, Professor Will Steffen, takes us on a journey through the science measuring humanity's effect on the planet. Using tangible, real measures, Will shows us the profound change in the planet since the Industrial Revolution and argues that now, more than at any other time, humanity is the single most influential factor in global changes; so much so that we should recognise that now is the age of mankind - The Anthropocene.



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