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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Geography and Environment academic to Chair new group to advise policy on potential new geological period

Published: 5 December 2011

Professor Tony Brown is to Chair a new working group of the British Society of Geomorphologists to answer questions posed by the concept of 'anthropocene'.

In 2011 the “Anthropocene” hit the media with pieces in the press, radio and on TV. Anthropocene is the idea that humans have now so influenced the entire planet we live on, including its climate, that we have now entered a new period in the history of the Earth which we could call the “Anthropocene – where ‘Anthro’ means human and ‘cene’ means ‘time of’.

However, earth scientists rarely create new geological periods (Triassic, Cretaceous.. et.)  and there are some important questions to be answered, such as when did it begin and are we confident that humans are in that much control?

In order to address these questions a new working Party of the British Society of Geomorphologists (BSG) which is affiliated to the Geological Society of London has been formed.  Professor Tony Brown, leader of the PLUS research group in the Geography & Environment Academic Unit within the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences, will Chair the group. The working party has a year to advise the BSG on its policy towards this important proposal.

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