Response to Heijung et al.

Owen Gaffney*, Will Steffen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review


    Heijung et al. provide a useful discussion of our recent paper, the Anthropocene equation (Gaffney and Steffen, 2017), and they agree with paper’s conclusions. Much of the scientific and public discourse around the Anthropocene focuses on Anthropogenic influence that will be visible in the sedimentary record. This risks downplaying the scale of Anthropogenic influence on the rate of change of the Earth System. This influence is often articulated as statements such as ‘humans are a prime driver of change on Earth’ or ‘Humans are now a geological force’. While these statements are true, they are also open to misinterpretation. The Anthropocene equation is an attempt to provide a less equivocal statement about the Anthropocene in relation to the current rate of change of the Earth System.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)264-265
    Number of pages2
    JournalAnthropocene Review
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


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