Humans are shaping the environment and geology of the planet for the first time in history.
Although alternative terms have been suggested, the Anthropocene captures the magnitude of the crisis we face.
‘Ice Watch,’ an installation by Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson, put 12 blocks of ice harvested from a fjord in a clock formation in a public place in London, in December 2018.
From installations of ice to projected art generated from air quality readings, artists and designers offer powerful experiences where people become witnesses to what’s happening and what’s possible.
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A study published in the journal Nature reveals that global mass of goods produced by humankind now exceeds that of all life on earth. This is a stark warning on our growing domination of the planet.
If all of humanity was wiped out tomorrow, it’s estimated that the natural world would take at least five million years to recover from the damage humans have done to the world.
Tom Falcon Harding / shutterstock
The science-fiction scenario of an engineered planet is already here.
Shutterstock/Francisco Duarte Mendes
Almost a century ago, New Zealand and Australia were at the forefront of an environmental crisis that forewarned of humanity’s global impact – erosion. It left its mark on culture.
Image: Elizabeth Leane
‘Antarctic cities’ residents care deeply about the continent, with environmental concerns outweighing economic priorities. Asked about its future, they feel a mix of hope, pessimism and sadness.
It’s time for a new accord, with a summit led by First Nations people, bringing disparate groups together to help heal the nation and the land.
What does a more desirable future for people and the planet look like.
What are the visions that reflect the diverse values that nature holds for people?
Nazan Katircioglu / shutterstock
They will find minimal traces of the virus itself, but lots of PPE.
John Vanderlyn: Landing of Columbus
It marked the point when humans began to exert a geologically-huge influence on the environment.
The pangolin, one of the most poached animals in the world, could have served as an intermediate host in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to humans.
Covid-19, like other major epidemics, is not unrelated to the biodiversity and climate crisis we are experiencing.
Agricultural civilization led to the transformation of soils and rocks. Here an image of a corn field in Germany.
As we debate the proposals for what the world after the virus should look like, it is crucial that we understand the roots of what got us here.
Troutnut / shutterstock
The pandemic has exposed how vulnerable we are to unexpected climate shocks.
The hope is that the biodiversity targets translate directly into what individual countries, cities, companies and even families can adopt as tangible actions.
Though its use has grown in the last decade, the Anthropocene concept has been around since the 19th century.
The term Anthropocene - previously known only to geologists and academics - has hit the mainstream. Now it’s being tweeted as shorthand for the negative effects humans have had on the planet.
Oil tankers load up in a port at twilight.
The Great Acceleration inaugurated the Anthropocene in the 1950s. Now, a similar race for resources and space is happening in the ocean.
NASA ‘could not imagine the radical effect of seeing the Earth’ from the moon. In the face of a climate catastrophe, we all need to step back and see the Earth again.
Historical perspective can offer much in this time of ecological crisis,. Many historians are reinventing their traditional scales of space and time to tell different kinds of stories that recognise the unruly power of nature.
Pictured is a slag pile at Broken Hill in New South Wales. Slag is a man-made waste product created during smelting.
Manufacturing minerals is an expanding field of study. Making more of them could help alleviate various pressures faced by our growing population. But how are they made, and where can they be used?
Transforming our societies to stop climate change offers us the chance to make our lives better.