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).
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:
“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.