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Graham, Joseph, Newman, William, and Stacy, John, 2008, The geologic time spiral—A path to the past (ver. 1.1): U.S. Geological Survey General Information Product 58, poster, 1 sheet. (Also available online at http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/2008/58/.)  Larger Image

According to UN Population Division estimates, the world population in the midst of the Industrial Revolution (1800) was about 1 million. Now there are over 7 billion humans on Earth. We use 38% of its ice free land to grow food crops and livestock and capture 90 million metric tons of fish per year to feed us. Over 360 million of us live in 26 megacities of populations greater than 10 million.  We produce over 35 billion metric tons of carbon emissions per year and dump over 2 million tons of human waste into our ocean, lakes, rivers and streams every day.   

Human activities have affected the Earth’s land (lithosphere), air (atmosphere), water (hydropshere) and living things (biosphere). Are those effects pervasive and permanent enough to declare that the Earth has entered a new time, the time of "new man", the Anthropocene Epoch?

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