Human Impacts and Their Consequences

A Forum on the Occasion of the First Meeting of the Anthropocene Working Group

Programm Fri 17 October 2014, 9 am – 2 pm

Welcome Address
Bernd M. Scherer (Director, Haus der Kulturen der Welt),
Rüdiger Kruse MdB (Member of the Budget Committee of the Deutsche Bundestag)

Reinhold Leinfelder (Freie Universität Berlin and Rachel CarsonCenter for Environment and Society, München; Board The Anthropocene Project) and Christian Schwägerl (journalist and author; Board The Anthropocene Project)

The Anthropocene considered as a stratigraphic unit
presented by Jan Zalasiewicz (Chair Anthropocene Working Group; Department of Geology, University of Leicester)

Cases I
Moderation: Jan Zalasiewicz

This session discusses three different perspectives on the Anthropocene as a significant transition of planetary scale. It presents two distinct proposals for a beginning of the Anthropocene and puts the proposed epoch into a broader geohistoric perspective.

Evidence for a mid-twentieth century boundary for the start of the Anthropocene
Presented by Colin Waters (Secretary of the Anthropocene Working Group; British Geological Survey, Keyworth)

The archaeosphere and Earth’s Critical Zone in a time-transgressive Anthropocene
Presented by Matt Edgeworth (School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester) and Daniel D. Richter (Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham)

Will human-induced planetary change rank with fundamental step changes seen in the Earth’s deep history?
presented by Mark Williams (Department of Geology, University of Leicester)

Cases II
Moderation: Colin Waters

This session focuses on the effects of human activities on the atmosphere, ocean, and river systems. By highlighting the strong interlinkages between these different realms it demonstrates the global impact and the fundamental changes underway.

Connecting climate change and the Anthropocene
Presented by Michael Ellis (British Geological Survey, Keyworth)

The Oceans in the Anthropocene—from the demise of coral reefs to the rise of plastic sediments
Presented by Reinhold Leinfelder (Institute of Geological Sciences, Freie Universität Berlin; Founding Director, Haus der Zukunft, Berlin)

Changes in fluvial systems, river sediments and deltas
Presented by James Syvitski (Chair International Geosphere-Biosphere Program; University of Colorado)

Moderation: Bernd M. Scherer and Jan Zalasiewicz

This session discusses the magnitude and quality of the shift posed by the Anthropocene and critically assesses (science-) political solution pathways and a combined research agenda, linking scientific practice with societal relevance and local to global strategies of knowledge production.

Sharing our Earth in the Anthropocene
Joyeeta Gupta (Amsterdam Global Change Institute, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam)

Anthropocene: a confrontation of scientific evidence with political irreality
Naomi Oreskes (Department of the History of Science, Harvard University, Cambridge)

Towards a new integration of the sciences and the humanities
Jürgen Renn (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin)

Andrew C. Revkin ( blog, New York; Future Earth Interims Committee)