The Earth's most recent epoch, one marked by an explosion in the human population along with all which will likely come with it:
-Deposits in the Earth's strata
coming from such products & byproducts
as plastics, concrete, asphalt, metal alloys, radioactive
and other toxic wastes
as well as everything else added by our modern industrial and post-industrial
-What will likely be the Earth's 6th largest mass extinction
In just two centuries, we humans have wrought such vast and unprecedented
changes to our biosphere
that we actually might be ushering in a new geological time interval, and will alter the planet for millions of years.
Zalasiewicz, Williams, Steffen and Crutzen contend that recent human activity, including stunning population growth, sprawling megacities
and increased use of fossil fuels, have changed the planet to such an extent that we are entering what they call the Anthropocene (New Man) Epoch.
First proposed by Crutzen more than a decade ago, the term Anthropocene has provoked controversy. However, as more potential consequences of human activity -- such as global climate change and sharp increases in plant and animal extinctions -- have emerged, Crutzen's term has gained support. Currently, the worldwide geological community is formally considering whether the Anthropocene should join the Jurassic
and other more familiar units on the Geological Time Scale