pISSN 0705-3797 eISSN 2586-1298
HOME Article View


Episodes 2022; 45(3): 257-264

Published online September 1, 2022


Copyright © International Union of Geological Sciences.

Anthropogenic data question the concept of the Anthropocene as a new geological epoch

Ron W. Nielsen

Retired nuclear scientist from Department of Nuclear Physics, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, 2601, Australia

Correspondence to:*E-mail: ronwnielsen@gmail.com

Received: April 6, 2021; Revised: July 23, 2021; Accepted: July 23, 2021

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Anthropogenic indicators have been closely inspected to determine whether they can be used in support of the concept of the Anthropocene as a new geological epoch and of its proposed beginning around 1950 CE (Common Era), which is supposed to be marked by intensifications of human activities and impacts around that time. Data show that there were no systematic intensifications in growth trajectories describing anthropogenic indicators but there were decelerations suggesting that anthropogenic forces are not as strong as expected and, consequently, that they are probably not strong enough to have unequivocal stratigraphic manifestations of geological transition. Analysis of anthropogenic data suggests that the Anthropocene is not a new geological epoch.

Supplementary information

Supplementary File