New Holocene geological subdivisions. The Anthropocene nowhere to be found.

by Javier

The collapse of ancient civilizations defines the latest period.

The International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) has announced that the proposal by the International Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy (ISQS) for the subdivision of the Holocene Series/Epoch has been ratified unanimously by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS).

Official announcement

The subdivisions are now:

“1. Greenlandian Stage/Age = Lower/Early Holocene Subseries/Subepoch Boundary Stratotype (GSSP): NorthGRIP2 ice core, Greenland (coincident with the Holocene Series/Epoch GSSP, ratified 2008). Age: 11,700 yr b2k (before AD 2000).

2. Northgrippian Stage/Age = Middle/Mid-Holocene Subseries/Subepoch Boundary Stratotype (GSSP): NorthGRIP1 ice core, Greenland. Global Auxiliary Stratotype: Gruta do Padre Cave speleothem, Brazil. Age: 8326 yr b2k.

3. Meghalayan Stage/Age = Upper/Late Holocene Subseries/Subepoch Boundary stratotype (GSSP): Mawmluh Cave speleothem, Meghalaya, India. Global Auxiliary Stratotype, Mount Logan ice core, Canada. Age: 4250 yr b2k.

These definitions represent the first formal geological subdivision of the Holocene Series/Epoch, resulting from over a decade of labour by members of the joint ISQS (International Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy) – INTIMATE Members Working Group (Integration of Ice-core, Marine and Terrestrial Records), led by Professor Mike Walker (University of Aberystwyth).”

So we have the following new ages:

Meghalayan Age 4250 – present

Northgrippian Age 8326 – 4250 B2K

Greenlandian Age 11700 – 8326 B2K

A news release by the Durham University explains the relevance of the Meghalayan Age:

Collapse of civilizations worldwide defines youngest unit of the Geologic Time Scale

“The Late Holocene Meghalayan Age, newly-ratified as the most recent unit of the Geologic Time Scale, began at the time when agricultural societies around the world experienced an abrupt and critical mega-drought and cooling 4,200 years ago.

Agricultural-based societies that developed in several regions after the end of the last Ice Age
were impacted severely by the 200-year climatic event that resulted in the collapse of civilizations and human migrations in Egypt, Greece, Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and the Yangtze River Valley. Evidence of the 4.2 kiloyear climatic event has been found on all seven continents.

The Meghalayan Age is unique among the many intervals of the Geologic Time Scale in that its beginning coincides with a global cultural event produced by a global climatic event, said Dr. Stanley Finney, Professor of Geological Sciences at Long Beach State University and Secretary General of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS).

The convergence of stratigraphy and human cultural evolution is extraordinary, according to Professor Martin Head, a geologist at Brock University in Canada and Chair of the International Commission on Quaternary Stratigraphy.

Yale University’s Harvey Weiss, Professor of Environmental Studies and Near Eastern Archaeology, considers this decision to be a significant moment in the history of Holocene climate and archaeology science.”

Here you can find the latest stratigraphic chart

But while geologists have spent 10 years working hard to reach a scientifically sound agreement that will stand the test of time, Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise reports that in the foreword to a recent book entitled “The Paris Agreement on Climate Change: Analysis and Commentary,” Christiana Figueres, the former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change goes full anti-science and writes:

“In fact, the human impact on the planet has been so profound that geologists recognize the end of the Holocene era and the beginning of the Anthropocene era.”

No Christiana, the geologists do not think the Anthropocene is a concept worthy of consideration, and you should be better informed.

Source: Oxford University Spreads Fake News






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July 9, 2018 2:56 pm

Frankly… I love it. Finally some divisions in the Holocene. Now… would the reports please come forward with plausible reasons WHY the 2200 BC catastrophic climate shift happened? Its not like there was a surplus of automobiles and Bessemer steel converters.

Reply to  GoatGuy
July 9, 2018 3:33 pm

“…WHY the 2200 BC catastrophic climate shift happened?”

The exact sequence of causes and effects will probably never be fully understood, but it obviously doesn’t take much to slingshot a delicately poised, chaotic system off on a new diverging pathway.
The temperature change that brought on the Meghalayan does not appear that significant compared to the recent change.

comment image

And if that can cause a civilisation ending “mega-drought” then what is this going to do?

comment image

Peter Morris
Reply to  zazove
July 9, 2018 3:56 pm

No what it shows is that a barely above subsistence-level civilization is very vulnerable to small changes in the earth system. Our current technology is far more robust than even that of 100 years ago. We can survive things that would’ve brought ancient civilizations to their knees.

Reply to  Peter Morris
July 9, 2018 9:58 pm

but can we survive renewable energy?

Which older civilizations were not dependent on…
we have our own key vulnerabilities, and our dependence on ‘artificial’ energy is the greatest.

Reply to  Leo Smith
July 10, 2018 8:39 am

Leo Smith : If it ONLY lasts for 200 years , then , yes ! Why not !
We have LOADS of COAL right here for you in Australia !!
Plenty of CO2 and warmth ( from burnng coal ) and plenty of
( as long as it stays liquid ! )
So , by irrigation of crops and with sufficient CO2 Fertilizer
and maybe “Green-Houses” filled with 1000ppm CO2 ,
just to “RUB THEIR NOSES IN IT” , “we” should survive
better than the last lot !

Reply to  Peter Morris
July 10, 2018 8:31 am

Peter Morris :
Perhaps the CO2 level was so low that their agriculture also failed !?
The corollary is however , there ARE a lot more OF EVERYTHING to feed now !!
AND yes …a glacial WOULD be the worst……….bu gee ! Wouldn’t it
be such a smack in the eye of the “Global Warmist Religionistas”!!
philsalmon :
The Meghalayan will presumably be followed by the Harrygingian. !!
Loved THIS one !!! Wish I’d thought of it !!

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  zazove
July 9, 2018 5:47 pm

The links you provided don’t seem to be available. The first link may be temporarily unavailable, but Firefox says that Realclimate “has configured their website improperly” and it is insecure, and Firefox is not allowing access.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
July 9, 2018 6:40 pm

Clyde. Hmm. Try this holcene temp graph from wiki:
comment image

(I’m under constant moderation so I don’t get to edit.)

I was just trying to make the point that the cooling events associated with civilisation-ending 200 year long”mega-droughts” don’t appear as large variations on the familiar holocene temperature graphs. The ‘modern warming’ variation seems larger and more abrupt compared to the end of the Northgrippian.

Peter, that sounds terribly comforting. Not concerned about the compelxity and inter-dependance of modern global society?

Reply to  zazove
July 10, 2018 2:45 am

“the cooling events associated with civilisation-ending 200 year long”mega-droughts” don’t appear as large … The ‘modern warming’ variation”

We can’t judge because we don’t have the same perspective. Present warming could just be a spike with little long term effect. It was the decrease in precipitation, not in temperature what had the biggest effect in 4.2 kyr event. Regarding the present event, it looks that the biggest effect is coming from our “solutions.”

Reply to  Javier
July 10, 2018 5:01 am

“It was the decrease in precipitation”

Perhaps, but what caused that? If it was an abrupt temperature change and modern warming is not a “spike”, as every indication suggests, then the effect will have no affordable “solutions”.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  zazove
July 10, 2018 1:01 pm

“If” is a flip of a coin. That is, there are two choices — a spike or a long-term trend. There has been no shortage of spikes over the last 8,000 years, so the smart money is on spikes. Only time will tell. However, it looks like we have several hundred years before we may be back to where we were. A lot can happen with technology in several hundred years. So, I question whether we “will have no affordable ‘solutions’.”

Reply to  Javier
July 10, 2018 8:15 am

Z takes it as a given that since civilization happened during this cooling trend, that civilization could not have happened without the cooling trend.

john harmsworth
Reply to  zazove
July 10, 2018 6:13 am

An interesting plot. It shows the temperature 1000 years ago was slightly warmer than today.
Please explain. Then explain how a much less capable human society managed to progress through that.

Reply to  zazove
July 10, 2018 8:14 am

What I see in your chart is that we have a long way to go until we approach the good times of 8K years ago.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  zazove
July 10, 2018 12:54 pm

Judging by the graph, it looks like if we continue as we have for the last 500 years, in about another 500 we will be back to where we were 8 thousand years previously. We should probably be very concerned that we aren’t making much headway — towards another glaciation.

Reply to  zazove
July 10, 2018 8:43 pm

zazove, it has nothing to do with things being “comforting”, it has to do with reality. We move millions of tons of produce around on a daily basis, primitive societies could not.

Perhaps you should read more history and see if the claims made by some climate scientists match the written record.

Reply to  JohnB
July 10, 2018 11:57 pm

JohnB, perhaps you should consider the vulnerability of a system that <i)needs to move “millions of tons of produce around on a daily basis” otherwise it collapses.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
July 9, 2018 10:05 pm

Firefox is forcing everyone to change to encrypted protocols on the basis that if your ISP is compromised someone could replace you session with WUWT and redirect you to a porn site.

Or something

Chrome is to follow

Tell firefox to eff off. There is a button provided to let you

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  zazove
July 9, 2018 5:50 pm

You said, “The temperature change that brought on the Meghalayan does not appear that significant compared to the recent change.” Then why aren’t we experiencing an even more severe drought?

Rich Davis
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
July 9, 2018 7:05 pm

Umm, why are we obtusely pretending that it’s a “temperature change” that matters, when in fact it was cooling that caused drought? So if we have a slight warming it means we have a margin of safety against drought.

Reply to  zazove
July 9, 2018 7:57 pm

That second image that is blocked is the Marcott graph. That’s the one Marcott said the last 100 years?? were not robust.

I have been having some drama with the new version of Firefox. Although Google Chrome doesn’t like it either.

July 9, 2018 2:58 pm

Now, who doesn’t think that living in the Meghalayan sounds much cooler than living in the Anthropocene?

Reply to  Javier
July 9, 2018 9:18 pm

Most Indians will agree with you as Meghalaya is a state here. Megham meaning clouds and alayam meaning abode. “Meghalaya, India: Where women rule, and men are suffragettes” 😉

Reply to  AntonyIndia
July 10, 2018 12:44 pm

The word you are thinking off is matrilineal, an unusual situation for one of India’s Christian majority states

July 9, 2018 2:59 pm

The Meghalayan will presumably be followed by the Harrygingian.

Reply to  philsalmon
July 9, 2018 10:07 pm

ITYM the Harrybonkta

Mark Gilbert
Reply to  philsalmon
July 10, 2018 12:57 am

You made my coffee go up my nose

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Mark Gilbert
July 10, 2018 7:17 am

nose enema

Robin Matyjasek
Reply to  philsalmon
July 10, 2018 4:12 am

Yes, but don’t forget to insert the hokeystickecene…

July 9, 2018 3:11 pm

So now the 8.2 KA event and the 4.2 KA event are “Golden Spikes”. I guess that means that even CAGW:ers will have to accept that they actually happened.

Ulric Lyons
Reply to  tty
July 9, 2018 4:27 pm

Except that 8.2kyr event was a cold spike in GISP2 and the 4.2kyr event was a warm spike in GISP2.

Ulric Lyons
Reply to  Andy May
July 9, 2018 4:59 pm

4.2 kyr BP, a warm spike in GISP2. That is normal for a Grand Solar Minimum, just like the huge warm spike in GISP2 at 3250-3200 BP.
comment image

Ulric Lyons
Reply to  Andy May
July 9, 2018 6:08 pm

Maybe you are looking at 4.2kyr BC Andy?

Reply to  Ulric Lyons
July 10, 2018 2:11 pm

Ulric Lyons, No I just realized I would open a can of worms by answering your comment. Dating is tough at 4.2 kyr (+-150 years or more), plus GISP2 is affected by Greenland elevation changes a lot at that age. GISP2 is not the best record to use for central Greenland (try Vinther, 2009). Further, the “so-called” 4.2 kyr event actually happened from around 4200 BP to 4000 BP and was different in different parts of the world to make it more complicated. It was more powerful in the tropics and southern hemisphere than in the northern hemisphere. See the area weighted global reconstruction here and the preceding posts:

I just decided to not answer. But, since you asked, here you go!

Ulric Lyons
Reply to  John A May
July 10, 2018 6:54 pm

So I proved you wrong about GISP2 being cold at around 4.2kyr BP, but instead of admitting your error, you question its validity and offer Vinther 2009 as an alternative. Though you don’t actually know which one better represents the timing of the climatic events of the period. The major solar minimum of the period occurred from 2230 to 2190 BC. Have a look how many papers on regional proxies date it 2250-2200 cal BC.
All climatic events manifest differently in different parts of the world.

July 9, 2018 3:13 pm

Poor Christiana Figueres is locked into her own epoch, the Bureaucracene.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  philsalmon
July 9, 2018 3:28 pm

Unfortunately the Bureaucracene lasts forever. Once we hit the Bureaucracene in around ~ 3500BC there was no going back. Once things got written down, one could point to rules and then laws. There are 2 ways to hell. The fast way through violent struggle or the slow bureaucratic way that slowly strangles you with regulation. Bureaucracy is unstoppable.

Reply to  Alan Tomalty
July 9, 2018 7:38 pm

It’s stoppable alright. All turgid regimes essentially fate their own end – current dogma no exception.

Reply to  philsalmon
July 9, 2018 3:42 pm

The Bureaucracene, the cockroach of human civilization!

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
Reply to  philsalmon
July 10, 2018 1:16 am

The Delusionioscene

July 9, 2018 3:21 pm

This is interesting. They’re using anthropological and historical evidence to suss out natural climate variability. It’s kind of the reverse of the process of trying to say that humans have left an indelible mark on geology. In other words, geology and climate leave their mark on humanity, not the reverse.

July 9, 2018 3:21 pm

I was puzzled by this one:

The Late Holocene Meghalayan Age, newly-ratified as the most recent unit of the Geologic Time Scale, began at the time when agricultural societies around the world experienced an abrupt and critical mega-drought and cooling 4,200 years ago.

Abrupt mega-drought and cooling? Does anyone have links to this? Not saying it doesn’t exist, just saying I’ve not read about it.


Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
July 9, 2018 3:34 pm

I wrote about it here:

You should read my articles. Here is what I had to say about it:

The 4.2 kyr event

At about 4,200 yr BP an abrupt climate change took place that had a strong aridity effect at middle and low latitudes in Africa, the Middle East and southern Asia. The intense drought reduced precipitation by about 30% for about 100-200 years likely causing the end of the Egyptian Old Kingdom, the collapse of the Akkadian Empire in Mesopotamia, and initiated the dispersion of the urban Harrapan civilization in the Indus Valley. The 4.2 kyr event is also seen throughout the Northern hemisphere but in a more complex and irregular manner, unlike most Holocene cold events. Although intense cooling is detected in Iceland lake sediments at 4.2 kyr BP (Geirsdottir et al., 2013), it is brief and completely reversed in about 100 years. Glacier advances are also recorded at the time in Central Asia, the Southern Hemisphere and North America (Mayewski et al., 2004). Interestingly, the 4.2 kyr event is also seen in the GISP2 Greenland ice core. It shows as a significant drop in chlorides (sea salt) concentration (a sea ice proxy; Mayewski et al., 2002), unlike most cold events of the Holocene, suggesting that the cold might have been accompanied by reduced precipitation.

Proxies indicate that the 4.2 kyr event is centered in the Arabian sea region, affecting the East African and Asian monsoons, the Mediterranean and Southern Europe, with a smaller effect on the North Atlantic region and South America, while the cooling appears global. A Kilimanjaro (East Africa) ice core presents a 200-fold increase in dust particles at the time (Thompson et al., 2002; figure 74 a), while a marine sediment core in the Gulf of Oman presents a 10-fold increase in wind transported dolomite from the Mesopotamian region (Cullen et al., 2000; figure 74 b).

comment image

Figure 74. The 4.2 kyr event. a) 50-year average of the Holocene dust history from Kilimanjaro ice core NIF3. Dust concentration measured as 0.63-16.0 µm diameter particles per ml sample. Source: L.G. Thompson et al. 2002. Science 298, 589-593. b) Gulf of Oman core M5-422 changes in dolomite which reflect eolian mineral supply from Mesopotamian sources. Source: H.M. Cullen et al. 2000. Geology 28, 379-382. c) Deuterium changes in sedimentary plant leaf wax δDwax measured as ‰ vs. Vienna standard, as a proxy for East African monsoon strength at Lake Challa (Kenya). Source: J.E. Tierney et al. 2011. Quat. Sci. Rev. 30, 798-807.

Tierney at al. (2011) analyzed in detail the hydrology of Lake Challa, close to Kilimanjaro. One of the proxies they used was the proportion of deuterium in lake sediment plant leaf waxes, interpreted as a proxy for the strength of the East African monsoon. While other proxies indicate Lake Challa did not have low lake levels at the time, δDwax indicates the monsoon decoupled at the time from the total rainfall amount in the local basin. The East African monsoon showed at the time its weakest values in the entire Holocene (Tierney et al., 2011; figure 74 c). The 4.2 kyr event coincides also with a period of great weakness of the Asian monsoon (figure 54 f). The general monsoonal weakness during the 4.2 kyr event must have contributed to its unusual aridity.

We must conclude that the 4.2 kyr event is a uniquely abrupt regional arid event that also caused global cooling. The proxies that show it best do not display a clear periodicity (figure 74), indicating that Holocene climate cycles were not the cause. The very strong monsoon weakening and severe aridification are different to the rest of Holocene cooling events and underscore a primary atmospheric manifestation. Its cause is a complete mystery. Most authors talk about shifts and thresholds in oceanic/atmospheric systems. No big volcanic eruption or asteroid impact capable of such global effect has been convincingly linked to the event, although the abruptness, nature and development of the arid-cold event is compatible with a big tropical volcanic eruption or asteroid impact. Since 1998 soil scientist Marie-Agnès Courty has been defending that soil micro-fabrics bear the signature of a cosmic impact at the time (Courty et al., 2008). However, the lack of more substantive evidence, like iridium, nickel or platinum spikes, or a well-dated crater, has made her research largely ignored.

Whatever its cause, the 4.2 kyr event had a brutal impact on human societies, wiping out the most advanced civilizations at the time and changing the course of history. The world is now 100 times more populated and, despite civilization advances, no less vulnerable to the effects of the changes described. The success of the Akkadian empire was partly due to the sophisticated measures (at the time) they implemented to cope with recurrent droughts in the region. They were just unprepared for the unimaginable scale of what came their way.

Reply to  Javier
July 10, 2018 3:56 am

In the Southern Hemisphere it was approximately 4217 years ago that Indian seafarers first set foot in Australia and stayed, and they brought the dingo.

The timing is exquisite.

Reply to  Javier
July 10, 2018 7:40 pm

One thing that seems to missing or not to accounted for or even have asked the question.

Where was the solar system was during these events, in the galactic plane or +/-on the z-axis. Would this not change incoming cosmic radiation, etc? What was the cosmic weather? And what if wasn’t a single large meteor strike? How about thousands of “small” to “meduim” that all made mostly through to upper atmosphere and then exploded?

Maybe, I am just grasping at straws and my imagination is running wild.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
July 9, 2018 3:42 pm
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
July 9, 2018 3:54 pm

I wrote about this here:

4.2 Kiloyear Bond Event

“The 4.2 Kiloyear event was a very cool period in the Arctic (Bond Event 3) and it caused a severe drought in the Middle East. This probably caused the sudden collapse of the Egyptian Old Kingdom, famines and social disorder. Similar disruptions occurred in the Akkadian Empire as noted above, the Indus Valley and in China. It is interesting that the Monsoons in India, which are critical to farming in the Indus Valley, stopped between 4,200 BP and 4,000 BP.”

There has been a lot written about the 4.2 kyr event. Do a Google search.

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
July 9, 2018 4:42 pm

The geology, archaeology, anthropology and diagenesis evidence for such was obtained by “adjusting and normalizing” the mass of data already available (ref. Karl, Word is the ISQS do not intend to make their analyses techniques public information based on accepted precedents.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
July 10, 2018 12:48 am

The 4.2 KA event also finished the Eblaite civilization in Syria and several advanced Neolithic cultures in China.
It even caused mass mortality among the dodos of Mauritius, so it wasn’t a solely “cultural” event.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
July 10, 2018 7:19 am

so much for stability

Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 10, 2018 9:17 pm

Precisely. Climate us unstable even without significant variations in atmospheric CO2.

Pamela Gray
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
July 10, 2018 8:14 am

A hidden mega meteor strike? Mega decadal volcanic flow?

July 9, 2018 3:41 pm

But..But…What about the “Adjustocene” ??

July 9, 2018 4:12 pm

I’m puzzled why the Holocene is considered a separate epoch from the Pleistocene, rather than one of the ages within the Pleistocene, or even as a subset of the Late Pleistocene age. The Holocene is coincident with the latest interglacial warm period, but there have been many of these within the Pleistocene and none of those are considered worthy of epoch classification. So why should the latest of many interglacial warm periods be singled out as a special epoch? Even if it was classified as one of the ages within the Pleistocene, it would be by far the shortest.

Reply to  Andy May
July 10, 2018 12:28 am


Reply to  Andy May
July 10, 2018 12:35 am

Speaking of anthrpocentric vanity…

The Late Holocene Meghalayan Age,

How do they know the Meghalayan Age is the *Late* Holocene? If a Calabrian stratgrapher declared the Calabrian to be the Late Pleistocene, he would have been wrong… 🤣

Reply to  Bryan-oz4caster
July 9, 2018 4:35 pm

Stratigraphy predates our knowledge of the glacial cycle. At the time it made sense that the top stratum was different from all the previous ones. It was not so long ago when it was considered that there had been only four glacial periods. But until recently most geologists considered that the Holocene was part of the Pleistocene. However in the 21st century it has been assumed that the Holocene will not have an end for at least 50,000 years, and some consider that we have just put an end to the Quaternary Ice Age, as the ice-sheets over Greenland and Antarctica will soon melt.

Some ideas are like viruses, and when scientists get infected it might be difficult for them to get cured.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Javier
July 9, 2018 9:07 pm

“. . . the ice-sheets over Greenland and Antarctica will soon melt.

soon = what? There is, perhaps, better wording.

Gordon Dressler
July 9, 2018 4:18 pm

As shown in the article, the ISQS is on the path of subdividing the Holocene Series/Epoch into periods of roughly 4,000 years each, meaning that now is about the time for a newly named subdivision going forward.
I will be so presumptuous as to offer the name be “Algoreobscene” for this next subdivision.
The word etymology is, first, a nod to a unique globe-trotting public figure that has won the Nobel Peace Prize and an Academy Award and authored a book that was the basis for a Grammy award, all for raising alarm over global warming and the co-opted-but-as-yet-undefined phrase “climate change”.
The etymology for the second half of this name is both acknowledgment that all attempts to force scientific data to fit Mr. Gore’s meme have failed miserably and future high confidence that a developing multi-century period of natural global cooling will reveal the Biblical truth about those-who-would-mislead: “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.”

Reply to  Gordon Dressler
July 9, 2018 4:54 pm

The ambition to control the temperature of the nearest planet is the greatest bureaucratic audacity–ever.
I think it should be called the “Egocene”.
The more I look at it, the more elegant it becomes.
Bob Hoye

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  Gordon Dressler
July 9, 2018 5:14 pm

Well, I am somewhat embarrassed to see that I careless overlooked the apparent convention of restricting “xxxxx-cenes” to Series/Epochs and having Stages/Ages of the “xxxxx-ian” or “xxxxx-yan” nomenclature. Therefore, I’ll switch my suggestion to “Algoreasinineian”.
I believe that you can see the etymology for this remains essentially the same.

Bob (subtle2), how does “Egoismeian” sound to you?

Reply to  Gordon Dressler
July 9, 2018 9:42 pm

Good, but an example of sesquipedalianism.

Reply to  Gordon Dressler
July 10, 2018 8:15 am


I still like Narcissisinian.

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  WBWilson
July 10, 2018 12:29 pm

I could accept that. It encompasses more than just one individual, and may indeed presage what’s coming (at least for human society) over the next 4K years. However, this name’s relationship to Earth science/climate must then rest in the eye of the beholder (pardon the pun).

July 9, 2018 4:39 pm

We are just now entering what will later be known as the idiocracene. Hope it doesn’t last 4000 years.

Rich Davis
Reply to  JimG1
July 9, 2018 7:15 pm

Characterized by plants craving electrolytes?

Reply to  Rich Davis
July 10, 2018 8:52 am

Rich Davis :
Isn’t it marijuana that grows under electro-lights ?
Or have my ‘cravings’ LED me astray ?

Ulric Lyons
July 9, 2018 4:51 pm

My model maps it out as a grand solar minimum impacting four solar cycles from around 2235 BC to 2190 BC. These type of events are the only climate change risk that we really need to be concerned about.

July 9, 2018 4:57 pm

The Iron Age is the period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron. Iron production is known to have taken place in Anatolia at least as early as 1200 BC, with some contemporary archaeological evidence pointing to earlier dates.

Dorian Invasion: Despite nearly 200 years of investigation, the historicity of a mass migration of Dorians into Greece has never been established, and the origin of the Dorians remains unknown. Some have linked them or their victims with the emergence of the equally mysterious Sea Peoples.

Sea Peoples: The Sea Peoples are a purported seafaring confederation that attacked ancient Egypt and other regions of the East Mediterranean prior to and during the Late Bronze Age Collapse (1200–900 BC)

Alternate theory: The advent of the iron age and iron weaponry provided an opportunity for such as the Dorians and the Sea People to make themselves a serious plague on civilization, with the war and famine such events entail. This occurred about 1k years after the “Meghalayan Age” is said to have begun, but War is just as good as Climate at producing devastation.

Reply to  pochas94
July 9, 2018 10:55 pm

In regard to the Sea People and their time, see
pretty interesting

Reply to  AndyHce
July 10, 2018 5:33 am

Thanks for the very interesting link. Drought may well be important for the collapse of the bronze age, but using a specific drought to define a geological age when droughts may well have occurred in all geological ages smells of politics. This is not a criticism of Dr. Cline’s presentation, which is excellent.

Reply to  pochas94
July 10, 2018 12:54 am

The Dorians themselves told that they had come from the North, and the Linear B tablets conclusively show that dorian dialects were not spoken in Messenia, Boeotia or Argolis during the Bronze Age.

Reply to  pochas94
July 10, 2018 3:04 am

The famous sea-peoples invaded after the Ionians committed suicide with Troy. A dark age of 800 years followed. Homer tries to tell us how such folly can destroy a civilization. Some say it was even worse – a holocaust of the region including Crete. Angkorwat went into self-destruct – the Siam army found no-one living there. In other words Angkorwat went Green.
That is why geologists are out of their cement when it comes to the Psychozoic, our epoch, and leave the door open to “climate” – an open invitation. Well, guess who came to dinner!

July 9, 2018 6:09 pm

“the 200-year climatic event that resulted in the collapse of civilizations and human migrations in Egypt, Greece, Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and the Yangtze River Valley.”

Personally I think that some scientists are too quick to blame climate change on the collapse of civilisations.
Looking at our more recent and well documented past, there have been several collapse of empires and I would say climate change played very little part.
The constant competition between groups of people is the main cause for change IMO.

Reply to  Jeff
July 9, 2018 6:46 pm

They wern’t associated with a 100-200 failure of the monsoon.

Reply to  Jeff
July 9, 2018 6:47 pm

100-200 year

Reply to  Jeff
July 10, 2018 1:01 am

The Old Empire in Egypt, Eblaite civilization in Syria, the Akkadian Empire in Mesopotamia, The Indus Civilization in India and several Neolithic cultures in China (Longshan, Liangzhu etc) collapsed simultaneously about 2200 BC. That is rather a lot of coincidences.

July 9, 2018 7:19 pm

I wonder who created that graphic up above, and why he never learned anything about significant figures or consistency.

0.0042 – why not 0.00425, that 3-digit number is used the text multiple times.

0.00833 – that’s okay, rounded from 0.008326. The rest are okay except for:

3.600 – He did 1.80 and 2.58 okay, then this 3.600 with four significant figures?

Where’s my red pen?

July 9, 2018 7:54 pm

Well, good for them. But did they have to make the “modern” age so danged hard to pronounce?

I know, parochial of me. But “Logan Age” would fall so much more trippingly off my tongue…

July 9, 2018 8:06 pm

Isn’t this the ” Adjustocene” we’re living in?

Joel O’Bryan
July 9, 2018 10:11 pm

4,200 yrs BP the globe’s organized, agricultural civilizations are concentrated in just a few regions. There was no interconnected trade or commerce. No fossils fuels to transport grains and foods across the oceans to drought-stricken lands. An area struck by severe drought suffereed and collapsed. Repeatedly throughout history and pre-history from archaelogical diggings, societies collapsed under changing climates, droughts and cold, (and never from warmer or wetter) both in the Old World and the New World.

Today’s interconnected trades allows a NH breadbasket area to feed the world and vice versa during droughts. We are much more resilient due to technology and abundant energy.

The Greens hate that. They want the world to return to isolated tribes. Mass starvation of humanity.

The Greens must be fought and defeated.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
July 9, 2018 10:33 pm

“We are much more resilient due to technology and abundant energy.”

The hubris of homo technicus.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  zazove
July 10, 2018 12:14 am

Resilient DNE invincible.

Understand the difference Zazo-boy

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
July 10, 2018 12:24 am

I’m disagreeing BlowJo.
I think a massively complex, interconnected, interdependent system is less resilient.
Too many moving parts. But hey good luck.

Reply to  zazove
July 10, 2018 8:22 am

Multiple redundancies make a system more fragile?
Interesting theory you got there.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  MarkW
July 10, 2018 1:08 pm

He didn’t say “redundant, he said “interdependent.” The more critical parts there are in a system, the higher the probability that one will fail and bring the whole system down. There are advantages to simplicity and redundancy, but not interdependence.

Reply to  zazove
July 10, 2018 8:21 am

Care to actually refute the point?
That technology makes us more resilient is self evident.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  MarkW
July 10, 2018 10:37 am

Zazo apparently has wet-dreams of a virus-borne Zombie Apocalypse laying waste to all of humanity. And like Climate Alarm-ism, its entertaining science fiction to keep the populace sufficiently fearful.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  MarkW
July 10, 2018 1:13 pm

Technology provides more tools and more options. However, what is critical is how the system is configured. That is, if individual units such as cities or countries are independent, then there is inherent resiliency. However, if everything is interdependent, then it is difficult to recover from a single system failure. Try reading this article:

Reply to  MarkW
July 11, 2018 12:24 am

@Mark- actually technology makes us more fragile and susceptible to collapse. For example if you can’t get neodymium for your hard disk platters or the proper dopant for your semiconductors and iintegrated circuits , guess what. We All Fall Down.
Sandy, Minister of Future
Ex Reliability Engr.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
July 10, 2018 1:04 am

The 4.2 KA event affected at least Egypt and the rest of the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and China. Check how large a part of the World Population lives there today.

Reply to  tty
July 10, 2018 2:17 am

If the monsoon weakens as much for just a few years in a row, a large part of the world’s population would be in a very serious trouble. If it does so for 200 years the world as we know it would go to hell in a basket. The problem would spread through mass migration and conflict. Technology would only make us more efficient at killing each other.

Reply to  Javier
July 10, 2018 5:37 am

A disaster in the making, India’s water crisis will be historic.
“From the northern Himalayas to the sandy, palm-fringed beaches in the south, 600 million people – nearly half India’s population – face acute water shortage, with close to 200,000 dying each year from polluted water…

“It is a finite resource. It is not infinite. One day it can (become) extinct,” he said, warning that by 2030 India’s water supply will be half of the demand.”

“Let them drink technology.”

Reply to  zazove
July 10, 2018 8:23 am

It really is sad the way trolls actually believe that history began with them.
Apparently, prior to technology, water was always pure.

Reply to  zazove
July 10, 2018 10:38 am

Water is an infinite resource – it is impossible to destroy water. You can only pollute it and misuse it, which is the problem in India.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  tty
July 10, 2018 10:49 am

Plants destroy water with photosynthesis.

Reply to  tty
July 11, 2018 3:04 am

Population level must have something to do with it, too.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
July 10, 2018 9:00 am

Improve the soil …………..dig in a ………..NO ! Unacceptable !
But still a bloody good solution to the soil-fertility problem !
I think that the EARLY ENGLISH COLONISTS in America were
shown ( by the NATIVE AMERICAN INDIANS ) a technique
of planting CORN with FISH to produce viable crops !

July 9, 2018 10:17 pm

The most interesting thing about this determination that it was unanimous – it was signed by everybody – no dissenting voices among the geologists. That carries a lot of weight.

Reply to  AndyE
July 10, 2018 2:11 am

They might still agree with the Anthropo part (Anthropoan?), and decided that in their meeting in 4000 years they can vote on that. Geologists are very calm people.

July 10, 2018 1:11 am

Alarmists are free to rename the “Recent” or the “After Present” as “Anthropocene”. The “Present” was in 1950 and is used in carbon dating.

July 10, 2018 4:10 am

Given anthropology and archeology are traditionally part of the “Humanities” Faculty, i.e. the study of things Human-esque, then I’d be rather astounded if Geology which is traditionally part of the “Sciences” Faculty, and studies the Earth, would even consider recognising something as rediculously anthropocentric as, the ‘Anthropocene’.

But hey, yeah, like, Humanities dudes, we deal only with rock units so call us when you’ve undergone petrification, diagenesis or secondary replacement or such.

We’ll call you the ‘Quackocene’.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  WXcycles
July 11, 2018 1:28 am

Geology, a science?

Hmm there are no controlled experiments

July 10, 2018 7:19 am

Perhaps the good geologists can explain exactly why they believe the Pleistocene ever ended? Good to be rid of the misanthroposcene, the hollowscene will be next.

The Deplorable Vlad the Impaler
Reply to  Gordon Lehman
July 10, 2018 10:48 am

Well, Gym, I’ll take a stab at it:

In Historical Geology (very often, it is a Freshman course, and while a survey, forms the foundation for most all other Geology the undergrad will study), the divisions of the Geologic Time scale were predicated upon fossil assemblages, and faunal succession.

I’ll dispense w/ the PreCambrian, and focus on the Phanerozoic, which literally means “obvious life”. The first Period of the Phanerozoic Eon is the Cambrian, which is when hard-shelled organisms first began to appear in the fossil record, hence they were ‘obvious’.

At the time the Geologic Time Scale was at its inception, the Ediacaran fauna was not known. As the time scale developed, it became divided into three Eras, the Paleozoic (“ancient” life), Mesozoic (“middle” life), and Cenozoic [Cainozoic, for our friends Down Under] (“recent” life).

Newer terminology for subdividing the Cenozoic is Paleogene Period, and Neogene Period, and one hold-over from ancient terminology, we are currently in the Quaternary Period.

The Paleogene consists of three Epochs (the word is pronounced exactly the same as the word ‘epic’, so our Professors would often pronounce it “eee-pok” to avoid confusion). Those Epochs are the Paleocene (“ancient” recent life), Eocene (“dawn” recent life), Oligocene (“more” recent life); the Neogene Period is divided into two Epochs, the Miocene (“much” recent life), Pliocene (“most” recent life).

While continental glaciations were evident in the late Pliocene, the Pleistocene was the beginning of the full-blown “Ice Age” so familiar to us. The Pleistocene is also the lower Epoch of the “Quaternary Period”, and the exit from the last glacial maximum (LGM) was thought to have ended the Pleistocene, and brought us to the Holocene (“all” recent life). Things like mammoths, sabre-tooths, and other ice-age fauna went extinct, the horse became its final form we see today, and so Holocene was dubbed to be a legitimate geological time division.

Obviously, we do not know if the Pleistocene is truly “over”. The time division, at present, is based on fossil life, and faunal succession, which is part of the reason that THIS licensed geologist will fight tooth-and-nail to stop the insanity of an “Anthropocene”. Such a time division flies in the face of the way geologic time has been systematized, and is an abomination to the Science of Geology.

I do hope that helps with understanding whether the Holocene continues; I know I’m in favor of it, even though my grandkids are convinced that I’m a “fossil”, and should be undergoing lithification, as we speak … … …



Reply to  The Deplorable Vlad the Impaler
July 10, 2018 9:40 pm

Not only do we not know if the Pleistocene is truly over, the extinction “fossil assemblage” is reckoned in many quarters to be at least partly due to human predation. In this sense, the misanthroposcene might be argued to replace the hollowscene; but it would be more properly named the misanthropic interglacial.

The shortest full blown ice age we know of was Ordovician, and even it was far longer than 2.6 million years. The most recent Carbo-Permian full blown ice age was more like 10 times longer.

Again, tell me why you believe our current full blown glacial period is over.

The Deplorable Vlad the Impaler
Reply to  Gordon Lehman
July 11, 2018 5:53 am

Hi Gym,

Well, I do believe it is indefinite as to the ‘end’ of the Pleistocene. The established Global Stratotype Section Point (GSSP) is fossil-based, and reflects the “newest” or ‘last’ transition from large land glaciers, to a more temperate climate (with attendant fluctuations in climate, temperature, precipitation, etc … ). I cannot recount a single instance of any geologically-minded person thinking the “Pleistocene” (sensu stricto) has ended. Unless I am mistaken, it is my impression that most in the community believe the Holocene is simply the most recent respite from a formal (and for lack of a better term) ‘ice age’.

Recall that Richard Alley is arguing that transitions between glacial/interglacial conditions happen in extremely short order. Of late, he has pointed to evidence that the transition is less than a decade. Most, including myself, are willing to accept a time frame of ‘several’ decades. Note that this is diametrically opposite to the prevailing opinion during my undergrad days. At that time (the 60’s and 70’s), it was thought that transitions were thousands of years in the making. Evidence accumulated (including Vostok, EPICA, etc), and in the later 90’s, a paradigm shift took place. I remember reading several articles, evaluation the arguments, and thinking that it made sense. Unless I am mistaken, I believe further evidence has been reinforcing this interpretation, but, keep in mind, we still do not have a firm mechanism for causing such a rapid transition.

The end of the Pleistocene? I have no clue. I just hope that I stay in the warm Holocene, and whoever has to deal with the next onset, is able to cope. The temperature regime will shift suddenly (i.e., in a short period of time), but it will still take several thousand years for the continental glaciers to form (cold air holding less water vapor than warm are, and all that … )

My regards to you and yours,


Reply to  The Deplorable Vlad the Impaler
July 11, 2018 7:39 am

The transition from full glacial to full interglacial takes about 5000 years. This is clearly attested by the temporal lag between Marine Isotope Stage changes and land stratigraphic changes. As an example MIS 5e is dated from 132 Kyr BP, while the Eemian is dated in Europe from 126 Kyr BP. The huge ice-sheets that characterize a full glacial take many thousands of years to melt.

At the opposite side the transition from the end of an interglacial at the glacial inception, to mild glacial conditions, characterized by well developed ice sheets and low but stable methane and CO2 levels takes about 15,000 years. Post-Eemian glacial inception can be placed at around 120.5 Kyr BP, and can be considered completed at 107 Kyr BP when the first large iceberg discharge takes place, indicating well-developed ice sheets.

While the world is warming and sea-levels are rising there is no concern about a glacial inception. Even if the situation reverts, it would take about a millennium to confirm, as the last time the planet cooled for hundreds of years, with land-ice increase and sea level decrease, it all ended at the bottom of the LIA without a glacial inception.

Lots of geologists now believe the Holocene will not end in at least 50,000 years, and if we keep producing CO2 a lot longer. There are articles defending scenarios where no glacial should take place in half a million years accompanied with the complete melting of Greenland and Antarctica. In other words, to them the Pleistocene to Holocene transition put an end to the Quaternary Ice Age. I disagree, but it is obvious that a change of opinion has taken place among geologists in the last 20 years.

July 10, 2018 7:48 am

Geologists are beginning to recognize the long-term erosional impacts of advocacy mountain building out of mole hills. Such orogenies can impact continents selectively while leaving others untouched.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
July 11, 2018 8:07 am

Yeah, a whole lot of ‘climatic’ D5, pretending to be climatic D1 … most probably related to sucking-up for funding.

July 10, 2018 7:50 am

We’re going to need anthropologists to track the systematic undermining of the process and the players for their next update.

Pamela Gray
July 10, 2018 8:02 am

This current modern 40 year period could go down in history as being the homosapianidiocene.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Pamela Gray
July 10, 2018 10:50 am

The 80’s were fun.

Luke of the D
July 10, 2018 1:16 pm

A name is a name is a name. As a professional geologist, I have always found the various naming conventions of periods of time and the resulting “controversy” surrounding them rather amusing. When does the Holocene start? Why does it matter? It is kind of like defining planets – Pluto is a planet! No it isn’t! A name is a name.

July 10, 2018 11:22 pm

Hi Javier. Thanks for update. The Meghalayan seems related to the Piora Oscillation, an abrupt cold and wet period in the climate history of the Holocene Epoch; it is generally dated to the period of c. 3200 to 2900 BCE. No mention of cause.
Minister of Future

July 10, 2018 11:47 pm

“In fact, the human impact on the planet has been so profound that geologists recognize the end of the Holocene era and the beginning of the Anthropocene era.”
UNFCCCcene or Marxismcene is more correct?

July 10, 2018 11:54 pm

Hi Javier. The Meghalayan beginning at 4200 B2k is at a 1500 yr Luni- Solar peak. Also in one of your charts it shows the indo-pacific sea surface temperature dropping 0.4 degrees C for 200 years after about 4,200 B2K.
Your next chart shows mid European Lakes drying and weak Asian monsoons at that time. And the Norwegian Atlantic current is weak. GISP2 sea salt is at a low and the North Atlantic oscillation is negative.
So the 1500 yr cycle could be the trigger for this collapse?
Sandy, Minister of Future

Reply to  InterZonKomizar
July 11, 2018 12:40 am

Oops. Obviously I didn’t read all of the posts 1st. My bad.
Minister of Future

July 11, 2018 12:00 am
John Miller
July 13, 2018 10:49 pm

:rolls eyes:

Wouldn’t it be simpler just to admit we are in a Holocene interglacial that represents the continuation of the Pleistocene era? The Eemian interglacial didn’t herald the beginning of some new era, and I see no reason why I should treat the Holocene interglacial any differently.

Unless you’re one of those alarmists who think we changed everything.

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