How to call the era we are living? #Anthropocene

Chapter 2 is focused on the concept of Anthropocene. Anthropocene is how the Nobel-Prize winning atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen has called the era we are living, when humans had become agents of geological change, driving significant global chemical, physical and biological modifications to the atmosphere, landscape, and oceans. The Anthropocene may be linked to the fact that human impacts on biodiversity could be assessed. The issue has been studied by the Anthropocene Working Group (AWG) of the Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy (ICS); what is worth noting is that this group includes a mix of specialists of different disciplines from geologists, to historians, scientists, and paleontologists. All this effort is finalized to the formal inclusion of the Anthropocene among the other well-known epoch names (Miocene, Pliocene…). This process of inclusion is obviously complex. There is the need for a technical use of the term and a practical application. Without these requirements, the term will be used in many disciplines. The aim of the chapter is to identify geological boundaries for the Anthropocene. What emerges from the study of the authors is an interesting link with the process of urbanization which is spreading around the world. Cities can be considered centers that represent the complexity of modern human society. If we consider the big challenges which need to be urgently tackled, it is clear that cities are the protagonists of a potential change. Think, for example, to the complex issue of climate change. Policies in urban areas may represent a key solution to make a change. It has to be considered that 70% of cities are already dealing with the effects of climate change, and nearly all are at risk. Over 90% of all urban areas are coastal, putting most cities on Earth at risk of flooding from rising sea levels and powerful storms. For this reason, local control and policies seem to be the ideal solution. City mayors, after all, are directly accountable to their constituents for their decisions and are more nimble than state and national elected officials to take decisive action—often with immediate and impactful results. What our cities do individually and in unison to address climate change can set the agenda for communities and governments everywhere.